It is well known that for fully replenishing an adult needs to sleep about 8 hours a day. The same recommendation applies to adolescents, but because of the abundance of homework and activity in social networks, they sometimes sleep only 4 hours a day. Lack of sleep can adversely affect their health, so scientists from the American state of California decided to figure out how to get teenagers to go to bed earlier and sleep longer. The developed method extended the dream students by as much as 43 minutes. You’ve been wondering what kind of trick was used by scientists?
The researchers initially decided that will modify the circadian rhythms of teenagers. This term refers to the fluctuations in the activity of biological processes like digestion, depending on the time of day. Affecting circadian rhythms of the person, you can make it faster to get tired and therefore go to bed early. At the moment, scientists have two ways of influence on circadian rhythms is light therapy and behavioural therapy.
How to go to bed early?
Under light therapy refers to the process when a person is exposed to a short flash of bright light. It is believed that if in the last hours of sleep before waking in the room of the man to sharply turn on and off a bright light, circadian rhythms begin to shift. The process of behavioral therapy is in conversations with teenagers, where psychologists motivate them to go to bed early.
To check whether using these two methods to get Teens to sleep longer, the researchers conducted the experiment. They gathered a group of 72 adolescents and installed in their bedrooms lights that in equal periods of time are flashing bright flashes of light. The device gave out light at 4000 Lux — about the same shines the midday sun in winter. The duration of the flash was 3 milliseconds — they occurred every 20 seconds in the last three hours of sleep Teens. Flash was almost invisible, so it does not interfere with sleep.
Four weeks later the subjects were told that they really started to feel the fatigue a little earlier than usual. However, they still did not go to sleep and sat late into the night. In this regard, the researchers decided to Supplement the therapy conversations in which teenagers explained the benefits to go to bed early. The combination of the two methods gave very good results in the subjects began to sleep about 50 minutes earlier than usual. On falling asleep they took about 7 minutes, so the duration of their sleep has increased by 43 minutes.
The benefits of sleep health
Scientists don’t know exactly how bright flashes of light can affect circadian rhythms of the person. However, they are about know how about them to know the human brain is a light flash falls on the retina eyes even though closed eyelids. Due to the lack of a full understanding of the reasons for the changes in circadian rhythms, researchers are advised not to attempt to use their method.