High school students getting less sleep

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January 25, 2010

Sleepy

Teenagers are notorious for staying up late at night. When they are not working on school projects, they are usually socializing late into the night and missing out on valuable sleep. A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that as much as two-thirds of high school students get less than seven hour so sleep nightly. The study also found that girls and students in higher grades are getting the least amount of sleep.

The study’s findings are a cause for concern because according to Dr. Jonathan Pletcher , an adolescent medicine specialist at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, "…a lack of sleep can increase depression, negative physical health like headaches, poor school performance, school absenteeism and drowsy driving."

So how can you or your teen get more sleep and offset some of the negative consequences of teen sleep deprivation?

  • Establish a bed and wake-time and stick to it, coming as close as you can on the weekends. A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel less tired since it allows your body to get in sync with its natural patterns. You will find that it's easier to fall asleep at bedtime with this type of routine.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours of your bedtime. Don’t leave your homework for the last minute. Try to avoid the TV, computer and telephone in the hour before you go to bed. Stick to quiet, calm activities, and you’ll fall asleep much more easily!
  • Try keeping a diary or to-do lists. If you jot notes down before you go to sleep, you’ll be less likely to stay awake worrying or stressing.

- Get more tips and learn more about Teens and Sleep.

- Learn more about the study.