Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

School pupils need lessons in getting a good night’s sleep


stick_figure_sleeping_1600_wht_5121Teensleep is a project being rolled out in English schools by Oxford University to help pupils sleep better and improve their exam results as a result.

The teenagers will be taught about their body clocks and the circadian rhythm which shifts in their teens and again when they reach their twenties. They will also learn about the damaging effects of watching TV or playing video games late at night and how the blue light from screens disrupts their sleep cycle.

The project will involve 100 schools divided into four groups. One will start classes at 10.00 am or later, one group will receive sleep education, one group will have sleep education and start lessons later, and the fourth (control) group will follow the usual school timetable.

Professor Russell Foster hopes to get enough data from the project to enable a definitive view to be reached. He said “Studies in…

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I got rhythm…


changing_the_clock_1600_clr_11186and so have you. It’s called circadian rhythm, the body clock that tells us when to eat sleep and wake up every 24 hours.

Unless we mess it up with long-haul travel which gives us jet lag or adopt an “always on” life style fuelled by drugs of various degrees of legality.

Canadian researchers announced last week that women’s body clocks were approximately two hours ahead of men’s, something I recently posted about.

Now Peta Bee, writing the Body + Soul section of the Times (one of my favourite weekend reads I have to say), suggests that we should pay more attention to what our body clock is telling us and optimise certain actives to enhance our health and well-being.

So here’s what she’s suggesting (you don’t have to agree with it all, I don’t but I’m just sharing the main points. Check it out…

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Women & men have different body clocks


stick_figure_sleeping_1600_wht_5121If you are a woman and reading this in bed because you can’t sleep – well it’s not all your fault.

Women are going to bed later than they should and waking up later than they should because their circadian clocks are two hours ahead of mens’ but they feel they have to go to bed at the same time as their husbands or boyfriends (is that really true these days?)

So they are more tired at night but more alert in the morning and may be prone to insomnia (as women are 50% more likely to have sleep problems).

The circadian clock in our bodies regulates sleep-wake cycles and makes us feel alert or tired at appropriate times and is also responsible for jet-lag when we change time zones.

Humans can have different circadian rhythms and research on teenagers has led to some school starting lessons later to match them.

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