In a fascinating study of almost 54,000 people from 2003 to 2014, researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that teenagers aren’t just making you crazy about their sleep patterns in order to make you crazy. They actually have a different need for sleep than do adults. Their body clock makes them ready to go to sleep at about 12:30am and ready to then wake up at about 8:30am. For 60 year olds, in contrast, it’s 11pm to sleep and 7am to rise.
It is currently unknown why teenagers are better off with these sleep patterns; the patterns are seen to change at about 19.
The research has been published in the journal PLOS One. As the researchers explained, ‘The timing for optimal sleep can be as different as 10 hours among individuals, meaning that opposite chronotypes could share a bed without knowing that they do. What chronotype you are, is influenced by age and gender – on average, older people are earlier chronotypes than younger people and women are earlier chronotypes than men during the first half of their lives.’