Explainer: The teenage body clock

Around puberty, a change in the body clock of adolescents and teens makes it hard for them to fall asleep as early as they used to

By Susan Gaidos, 13:00 PM August 6, 2013

Researcher Mariana Figueiro of Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. helps a middle school student test a pair of orange goggles in an early study showing the connection between sleep problems and lack of exposure to morning light. Credit: Lab of Mariana Figueiro/ RPI

Somewhere around puberty, something happens in the timing of our biological clock. That clock pushes forward, so adolescents and teens are unable to fall asleep as early as they used to. At bedtime, their bodies may be pushing them to stay up for several hours more.

This shift is natural for teens. But staying up very late and sleeping late can push a teen’s body clock out of sync with the natural outdoor cycle of light and darkness. It can also make it hard for teens to get out of bed in...

Source URL: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/explainer-teenage-body-clock