- Posted on Jul 18, 2017
It seems like the odds are stacked against our teenagers. As they go through the growth spurt of adolescence, they need more sleep, often over 9 hours. But only 3% of teens get that amount and most report getting by with only 6 hours!
What is going on?
The sleep routine changes as children age. Teenagers typically get sleepy 2 hours later than they used to. Most schools start at 7:30am and some programs like tutoring or sports start before classes. Homework and after school jobs may push bedtimes back later than usual. And then there’s the cell phones and other electronic devices. Exposure to these devices has been proven to be associated with less sleep due to suppression of the nocturnal melatonin release. This is bad news. Anxiety, depression, poor performance in academics and sports…even ADHD type symptoms have been reported. Suicide and car accidents are more common in sleep deprived adolescents too. This is serious. Catching up on weekends is not enough and may worsen the problem by re-setting the sleep routine. Napping in the afternoon (and during class!) is an indication that your teenager needs more sleep.
It seems like from cradle to college campus, we still have to worry about our kid’s sleep habits!