Only about 8% of tens get an adequate amount of sleep
Sleep is an essential component of life, yet most teens aren’t getting enough. To an extent it just goes with being a teenager: sleeping patterns shift toward later hours in adolescence, so not being tired before 11:00 pm is not that unnatural. But teens need between 8 ½ and 9 ¼ hours of solid sleep per night, depending on the individual, and only about 8% of them are getting it.
In part, blame it on technology. TV’s, smart-phones, laptops, tablets…there is no shortage of distractions, and some sleep experts say those are sending more teens in search of sleeping pills. Many kids today sleep with a phone next to their bed and are awaked frequently during the night with buzzing or chirping of a text message, facebook notification, or email.
According to the National Sleep Foundation:
- Just 1 in 5 adolescents get an optimal 9 hours of sleep on school nights; nearly half (45%) sleep less than 8 hours on school nights.
- More than half of adolescents report feeling too tired or sleepy during the day.
- More than half of adolescents say they know they get less sleep than they need to feel their best.
- 9 out of 10 parents believe their adolescent is getting enough sleep at least a few nights during the school week, leaving an “awareness gap” between parents and teens.
Sleep expert Chris Gammon recommends we treat sleep as essential to our teenagers’ well-being by teaching them proper sleep habits: going to bed and turning off all distractions, including lights, close your eyes, and going to sleep.
This coming Sunday we begin Daylight Saving Time by moving our clocks forward by one hour at 2:00am. “Spring forward, fall back.”