Sleep deprivation increases the likelihood teens will suffer myriad negative consequences, including an inability to concentrate, poor grades, drowsy-driving incidents, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and even suicide attempts. The most recent national poll shows that more than 87 percent of U. Christopher Silas Neal. Carolyn Walworth, 17, often reaches a breaking point around 11 p. For 10 minutes or so, she just sits at her desk and cries, overwhelmed by unrelenting school demands. She is desperately tired and longs for sleep.
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Sleep Deprivation in Teens: A Common Problem
Sleep Deprivation in Teens | Sleep Problems | Child Mind Institute
This makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p. Add in early school start times and an increase in homework, extracurricular activities and sometimes a part-time job, and sleep deprivation in teens becomes common. So how much sleep is enough? Additional sleep supports their developing brain, as well as physical growth spurts. Sterni and Crocetti both recommend that parents take teenagers and sleep seriously. Begin by modeling good sleep habits, such as adhering to a regular sleep schedule, cutting back on evening caffeine, and exercising regularly.
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Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic
My year-old daughter is finally entering the homestretch of sophomore year, and she has been chronically sleep deprived since September. The reasons are multiple but when you add together 45 minutes of homework per class per night, plus a few extra-curricular activities, plus the downtime spent everyday watching a John Green video on YouTube or chatting with friends, and a normal amount of procrastination, it adds up to between 5 and 7 hours of sleep on an average school night. Throw in a term paper or heavy exam week and the average can easily drop to 3 or 4. My daughter is hardly atypical. In fact, multiple studies have shown that the vast majority of teens today are living with borderline to severe sleep deprivation.
Alex Dimitriu. The teenage years are a formative period. The brain and body experience significant development, and the transition to adulthood brings important changes that affect emotions, personality, social and family life, and academics. Sleep is essential during this time, working behind the scenes to allow teens to be at their best. Unfortunately, research indicates that many teens get far less sleep than they need.