Adequate sleep can help your school going teenager in improving their overall performance, according to a new study conducted in Rhode Island.

Getting enough sleep has a big impact on adolescents’ concentration, mood, and school performance. An independent school in Rhode Island showed that allowing kids to sleep for longer on school days considerably enhanced their productivity.

As part of the experiment, the school extended its opening time by 30 minutes – from 8 am to 8.30 AM. After three months of the new timetable, school authorities found most teens not only happier and alert, but began scoring well. The teens also reported that they were getting about 45 minutes of extra sleep each night following the change in the opening times.

School authorities also reported a marked improvement in the motivation levels of the students towards extra activities like sports or clubs. The researchers noticed a dramatic change in the overall activity of the students relating to issues like missing classes, reports of drowsiness and mood swings.

Researchers who worked on the project said it was really a big surprise for them to see how a little more sleep could impact teen performance.

Had the study been conducted in a public school the result would have been even more dramatic. Many of the students in the current study were boarders at the school. In public schools, they have less control over lights-out and other activities like after-school jobs.

All parents are aware of the fact that their children stay up late doing all sorts of things from watching television to reading into the wee hours of the next day. They usually made up for lost sleep by dozing till noon over weekends..

This sleep deprivation often made children fall asleep in class. Or they found themselves to be too tired to do homework, and often kept getting grouchier each day. Parents had found it very annoying. Research has now proved that these teens were actually responding to a real shift in their body clock that happens around the same time as puberty.

The internal body clock that governs when they wake and when they sleep shifts by a couple of hours compared to younger kids. So, teens actually find it very hard to sleep before 11 pm. However, they still need the same amount of sleep – around 9 hours – that is required in smaller children.