Teenagers need to wake up to reality

11th October 2013 at 01:00

In "Sleep deprivation" (By the numbers, 4 October), you assert that "hormonal changes affect teenagers' body clocks".

I have three teenagers, and anecdotal evidence suggests that the increased autonomy associated with growing up, combined with a lack of self- discipline (and possibly too much laissez-faire parenting), is the main driver behind teenagers going to sleep later, and consequently waking up later.

Teenagers have too many exciting things to do at night. Short of confiscating their mobile phones, switching off the wi-fiand cutting the power to the PlayStation and television, I am not sure what we can do to remove such temptations.

Teenagers need to adapt to their environment and learn to go to sleep earlier so they can wake up in time for school, just as adults must get up early enough to avoid capability proceedings at work. Schools that take this vital life skill seriously should continue to ask their students to turn up before 9am. Schools that decide to delay starting times do young people no favours by pandering to the myth that hormones are the only factor here and abstaining from their responsibility to prepare students for the real world.

I would welcome any references you have to research containing robust evidence that hormones affect body clocks. For now, I remain unconvinced.

Russell Bowen, Parent of teenagers.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today