According to a new study from NASP, the National Center for Suicide Research and Prevention in Sweden, starting school later may be crucial to reducing the risk of depression and fatigue in teenagers.
The study, which looked at teenagers aged 12-16 in the Stockholm area, found that 46 percent of them slept significantly less than the recommended eight hours on weekdays, compared to 17 percent who slept too little on weekends.
According to the researchers, a simple measure such as an extra half hour of sleep can reduce the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts by 10 percent. Gergö Hadlaczky, one of the researchers behind the study, points out the importance of addressing this problem and suggests one possible solution – delaying the start of school.
– We have a problem that has a simple solution that would lead to an incredible number of positive effects, Hadlaczky told Swedish tax-funded broadcaster Ekot, adding that there are studies showing that starting school an hour later can increase sleep by about half an hour.
The study’s findings suggest that more sleep can not only reduce the risk of depression, but also have a positive effect on school performance and reduce crime among teenagers.
The research highlights the challenge of getting young people to go to bed earlier and supports the idea that later school start times may be a practical and effective way to promote better health and well-being among teenagers.