On any given day a teenager faces a busier schedule than some adults. You can find early starts to school, a mountain of homework, sports practice, extra-curricular activities so essential to college acceptance nowadays, part-time jobs and of course, their buddies. And staying in touch with pals is really a herculean task with the myriad of social tools accessible in between their cell phones and laptops. And all of these means over-worked, over-stimulated teens that might consider sleep a less-than-important priority.
Experts say that 80 percent of adolescents do not get the recommended sleep they require which is nine hours. To be fair, most adults barely accomplish that goal but the effects on teenagers may be a lot more serious. Studies show that lack of slumber in adolescents leads to lower school performance, reduced cognitive abilities and mood issues including depression.
And since quite a few exhausted parents head to bed before they can get their teenagers to sleep, they could possibly not be aware of the extent of sleep deprivation.
Owens quotes a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, which shows 90 % of parents believe their teenagers get adequate sleep at least a few nights a week, revealing what researchers see as a striking "awareness gap." More sleep cops would be superior, she argues - or at least rules that get teenagers in bed by, say, 10 or 11 p.m.
"There's undoubtedly a disconnect," she said.
To truly drive the point home, Canadian researchers tested teens using a medium they could really relate to - Guitar Hero! Since the game requires complex motor mastering, it's ideal for measuring the real-world effects of slumber on every day pursuits. Scientists from Trent University in Ontario found college students tested at 9 a.m. on a Guitar Hero song they learned at 9 p.m. the previous evening showed three times the improvement in efficiency scores compared with students in a "wakeful" condition who learned the song at 9 a.m. and were tested again at 9 p.m.
"We can still get better at something if we do not rest; it's not as if we won't remember things at all," says co-author Kevin Peters. "But this clearly shows that if you are not getting adequate rest, you're not going to be mastering as well as you could be."
Though this might not sound overly impressive, Peters says the results demonstrate a highly substantial link between sleep duration and motor learning.
So how to help your child have a restful night? Contemplate the following:
* Establish a bedtime. Yes, it might seem like childish punishment to a teenager but this lets a teen arrange their day's pursuits with a rest schedule in mind.
* Promote a healthy lifestyle. Keep your kids away from caffeine after school and strive your hardest to limit television, video games, computers, cell phones and stereos as the evening goes on.
* Create an environment conducive to rest. Turn off monitors and cell phones to decrease the quantity of artificial light. Invest in curtains and blinds to keep the room dark at night time but bright in the morning. Invest in comfortable bedding like bamboo sheets which are thermo-regulating and moisture wicking.
* Assist your teen with time-management abilities. Several teenagers have poor judgment about how long tasks will take, and end up staying up incredibly late to complete assignments.
* Attempt to stick to your sleep schedule on the weekends. It may be a treat to sleep in but staying in bed late into the morning just makes falling asleep on Sunday night a lot more tricky and getting back on track for the week can prove hard.
* Make sleeping clothes comfy. If your teen feels too old for pajamas, contemplate any tops and bottoms that are much less restrictive and breathable. Bamboo clothes are definitely worth looking into for the fabric's silky comfort and capability to breathe.
With these tips and an increased awareness for the need for sleep, parents can help their kids be healthful and alert for the new school year!