October 11, 2011
“Sleep Deprived Teens”
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) issued a news release titled “America’s Sleep-Deprived Teens Nodding Off at School, Behind the Wheel”. This release was to report their findings in their 2006 Sleep in America poll, a national survey on the sleep patterns of adolescents ages 11-17 in the United States. According to the NSF’s survey, not only do the majority of adolescents not get enough sleep, but also their parents are also mostly unaware that there is any problem with their children’s sleeping habits.
The article states that the consequences of insufficient sleep affect nearly every aspect of teenage life. All adolescents sleep for at least 9 hours per night yet only 20% do. And as children get older, the problem worsens. The NSF found that sixth-graders reported sleeping 8.4 hours on school nights, while high school seniors sleep only 6.9 hours. According to the survey, the parents are mostly unaware that their children have any problems at all. There are some alarming statistics listed in the article, stating that nine out of ten parents think their adolescents are getting enough sleep, while fifty-six percent of teens think they don’t get enough sleep to perform at their best. The article suggests that as teens get older, they naturally feel more alert at night and wake up later in the morning. More than half of the high school seniors that were polled go to bed at 11:00 PM or later, yet most adolescents wake up around 6:30 AM for school.
Mary Carskadon was quoted as saying that; Irregular sleep patterns that include long naps and sleeping in on the weekend negatively impact adolescents’ biological clocks and sleep quality- which in turn affects their abilities and mood. She suggests that any inconsistencies in sleep patterns should be minimized. This would help better prepare the young people for all of the daily challenges that they face.
There are other factors that...