As many parents will observe, adolescence is linked with a change in the internal body clock, leading to later bed-time and wake time, this natural shift makes many teenagers prefer going to bed late at night, and to wake late in the morning. As school starts early, many teenagers do not get enough sleep during the school week.

However, as the researchers point out, healthy sleep is very important to adolescents’ development as it is linked to physical and mental wellbeing and positive school outcomes. By contrast, a lack of sleep can have negative effects to daily functioning, affecting mood, emotion regulation, concentration, and over time, poor sleep can lead to physical and mental problems, and poor educational and occupational outcomes. 

With the help of data from our students and that of other participating schools, the researchers will investigate how the changes in sleep, body clock, and light may influence mood, and thinking over time, including changes in NAPLAN scores from Year 7 to Year 9.

Our students took a survey, wore a watch, kept a sleep diary, undertook body clock testing, and took an academic test among other procedures (all conducted remotely due to COVID-19). Taking part in this important study was a great opportunity for our Year 7 students who learnt a lot about the scientific method and the importance of a good night’s sleep in the process. We are looking forward to finding out about the results of this study!

You can find out more about this study here. If you are interested in getting involved, the study is looking for Year 7 students to participate in a new round starting in Term 4. You can sign up for the study here

A longer version of this article appears in the latest edition of Spectemur, out now. Click here to read Spectemur.