Well, here we are! It’s the end of summer, and another school year has started.
As most of you know, my blog posts about sleep usually focus on infants and toddlers. For now, I’m stepping out of the box to look at sleep among teenagers, or more accurately, LACK of sleep among teenagers.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep deprivation among young adults is at epidemic proportions.
Many teenagers flock back to school with a feeling of excitement. They want to be liked, to belong, and to succeed academically. Maybe they want to participate in new activities, experience the responsibility and financial benefit of holding a part-time job, or hang out with friends. Whatever the reason, teenagers are filling their lives with more activities than a healthy lifestyle can support.
Our biological clocks work best if our sleep is consistent.
When we are running on one schedule during the week, another on Saturday, and yet another on Sunday, we throw off our body’s rhythms, causing exhaustion.
This sleep-time discrepancy between school nights and weekends is the biggest culprit.
Between attending school, struggling with homework and maybe extra credit projects, playing sports and instruments, participating in other extracurricular activities, working at part-time jobs, spending time with friends, texting and social networking—not to mention, eating, maintaining general hygiene, and driving to all of the above—...Read more