A study conducted by the Columbia University in New York suggests that lack of sleep in teens can cause obesity in their adult years.
Dr Shakira Suglia and her team of researchers studied the long term effects of sleep deprivation in teenagers. The results of their study suggest that elevated body mass index in adults is linked to lack of sleep during the subjects' teenage years.
The study involved 10,000 participants who were 16 to 21 years old when the study started in 1995. The team interacted with the participants through home visits from 1995 to 2001. Throughout the study's duration the body mass index of the participants was monitored.
Towards the end of the study, those who slept less than 6 hours per night had been found to develop obesity as they turned 21. Those who had 7 or more hours of sleep were less likely to develop obesity as their BMI record throughout the study has suggested.
The CDC, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends teenagers to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night as it helps their alertness at school, it builds up their immunity and boosts their metabolism.
To strengthen the cause was a statement made by The American Academy of Pediatrics where middle schools and high schools are recommended not to start earlier than 8:30 in the morning. This is to allow teenage students to get the healthy amount of sleep they need each night.
A study suggested that during puberty a person's circadian rhythm shifts causing a difficulty in sleeping before 11 in the evening. This is regardless of the physical activity a person undergoes during the day and this is even when bedtime routines such as "light off regulations" and "a glass of milk before bedtime" are imposed.
School starting at no earlier than 8:30 will give teens a good night's rest despite being awake until the wee hours of the night.