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View Diary: A Reflection on Mental Illness from a Former High School Teacher (140 comments)

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  •  I have a question though (5+ / 0-)

    if teenagers are on a different circadian rhythm than adults, how did they ever function when we were a more agricultural society?

    Farm kids had to get up early, and do chores, and go to school, and come home to more chores.

    I think it was more the lack of things going on later in the evening (because, frankly, everybody was too tired) than it was their circadian rhythm.

    I understand kids tend to need more sleep. But if you need 10 hrs of sleep, you can certainly still get up early - IF you don't stay up late.

    Kids didn't used to stay up til midnight. Consequently, they had an easier time getting up earlier.

    If you consistently deprive yourself of sleep, of course you're going to be lethargic, and annoyed at anything, and miserable. And our teenagers do that today, as do many adults.

    •  Some of the answer may be segmented sleep...? (4+ / 0-)


      by raincrow on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:20:38 PM PST

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    •  Think about the math for a second... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bernie68, kyril, worldlotus

      If a teenager needs 10 hours of sleep, and has to get up at 6 (as I did in HS), that means he needs to be in bed by 8 every night.  That just isn't realistic, especially considering homework and other demands.  

      If the kid gets home from school by 2:30, that's only 5.5 hours from bedtime.  Most high school kids I know have 2-3 hours on homework a night, and quite a few have extracurricular responsibilities as well.  If we estimate three hours for homework and other activities, that's 2.5 hours of free time left.  If we assume that the kid eats dinner, that's another half hour or so, and we're down to two hours.  We're talking about kids as young as 14 with potentially less than two hours of free time and leisure a seems wrong say that somehow it's their fault for not getting 10 hours a night.  

      My point is just that the world we live in now isn't the same as an agricultural society where people were done for the day once the sun went down.  Kids today seem to have a lot more competition for their time.  

    •  they probably didn't function very well at all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      if teenagers are on a different circadian rhythm than adults, how did they ever function when we were a more agricultural society?
      But people back then were messed up by a lot more than just lack of sleep: heavy physical labor takes a toll all by itself, complicated by chronic malnutrition, lots more disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, heavy parasite load, a society even more rigid and sadistic than our own, etc.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:31:37 PM PST

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    •  back in the day of "farm kids", there wasn't (0+ / 0-)

      rural electrification until the 40's in lots of places... when there's no artificial light after dark, you go to sleep at dark and wake up when the light comes back!

      I did see some interesting info a few weeks ago, that in the Middle Ages, some folks, in the winter when the dark hours were so much longer, practiced/experienced a pattern of sleeping for 6 hrs, waking up and moving around for 4 hours, then going back to sleep for another 6 hrs! (leaving 8 hrs for daylight activities).

      Myself, I have a heck of a time driving long distances during the winter... have terrible trouble keeping myself awake more than about an hour and a half after dark! in summer it's no problem, because dark is 9.30; but in winter, dark is 4.30!

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:50:22 AM PST

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