Teens Need More Sleep


Teens Need More Sleep

Geraldine Markel, PhD

          Phil, an 11th grade student says, “I just couldn’t get up for class, I’m always late. Janet, a high school sophomore, told her friend, “I’m so tired during class that I just blank out.” Although it’s been spoken about before, the problem of inadequate teen sleep persists. In yet another study, US teens are said to be “getting less and less sleep”.  Too many adolescents get less than seven hours of sleep, with half of teens age 15 and older needing at least two hours more each night. There are heightened concerns about the impact on health and academic performance. That’s according to researchers who analyzed the University of Michigan’s annual “Monitoring the Future” national surveys of youth behavior.

What are some of the problem that teens experience when they have inadequate sleep? In terms of learning, teen’s listening, memory, attention and motivation lag. In terms of social behavior, teens may be lethargic, irritable and impatient, lacking the where-with-all to study or do chores. In terms of health, when overly fatigued, teens may engage in less exercise and over eating, especially high carbohydrate snacks, sweets or fried foods. Unfortunately, their driving may not get the attention required for safety, especially during bad weather.

Here are some tips for help teens get more sleep:

  • Make a family commitment to get prescribed amounts of sleep—more than 7 hours.
  • Enact an Electronic Lockdown an hour prior to bedtime, especially video games.
  • Find activities or strategies to help teens, slide into slumber. Examples of such activities include using relaxing music, soothing sounds from nature, audio books, warm baths or showers, and reading,
  • Make a healthy, less stressful schedule a priority. Include exercise at least 3 or 4 times per week.
  • Disallow sleeping with digital devices in the bedroom. For example, charge cell phone and computer in another room.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks before bedtime.

Help teens get more sleep and see the positive results. There will be better learning, more positive mood and less stress.




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