With how busy the schedules for both adults and teenagers have become, sleep itself feels like a forgotten luxury. However, unlike adults, teenagers require more sleep as their growing body needs more energy to push through the day.
The fact that many children nowadays are sleep deprived is not just a rumor or baseless statement anymore – as a new poll conducted by Sarah Clark, co-director of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, showed very clearly that many parents feel as if their high school children are being overburdened with school, homework and other activities – to the point where they simply no longer have enough time to dedicate to sleep.
The poll was conducted between two thousands different parents from a multitude of different ethnic groups and backgrounds, and the result was certainly quite shocking. Not only was it revealed that 1 in 6 parents believe that their kids are suffering from sleeping problems, but also that quite a few teenagers have trouble falling asleep due to an consistent and problematic schedule.
However, schools aren’t the only thing to blame for this. More than half the parents stated that their teens simply can’t let go of their electronic devices, often staying awake till much later in the night with their eyes glued to their screens. This when combined with school, homework and extra-curricular activities, leads to very little time left for catching a proper night’s sleep. Over the course of time, this can begin to pile up, as teens have less and less energy to dedicate to their school work.
Clark stated that it is quite possible that the numbers indicated in her poll could very well be incorrect, as the real numbers could be even more. This is because there is a chance of a percentage of kids hiding their electronic devices from their parents and using it late at night time despite being instructed not to.
An expert says that despite the difficulties involved in an improper sleep schedule, the average teenager’s body is capable of sleeping late at night, and staying in until later in the body – in fact some research would indicate that this is in fact the preferred natural timings of the body to go to bed and wake up, however with strict school timings, this is simply not possible. Teenagers are forced to wake up at 7 AM for school timings – or sometimes even earlier, meaning that if they do not go to bed at an adequate time, the entirety of their day is going to be deprived of energy.
Luckily, Clark and her team narrowed down a list of things that parents can do to ensure that this problem does not escalate to full blown sleeplessness and similar ailments as the children grow older. Some of them are:
- Taking away the electronics at nighttime. While this might be hard to do with certain rebellious teenagers, it can be seen as a last measure if the teens themselves are unwilling to corporate.
- Installing a proper bedtime schedule and routine and making sure that your child follows it.
- Reducing the amount of caffeine that is provide to the teen, or cutting it out completely.