26 September 2015

Today's #Sleeptember FACT --- Teens sleep (or don't sleep) like that for a reason

By now you've probably heard that late bedtime and sleep-in periods for teenagers are part of the normal final development of their brain.

This delayed sleep phase in adolescents is usually just that--a phase--though adults may never "grow out of it" and end up being night owls. This can be a good or bad thing depending upon the goals of a person with late-night "eveningness," but that is the subject of another piece.

Teenagers are experiencing delayed sleep phase for a variety of reasons but what we all need to remember is that they still very much need their sleep, but aren't getting it. National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America polls annually bear out the truth: our teens are sleep deprived, due to burdensome schedules filled with homework, activities, sports and jobs.

On top of that, they are consuming large quantities of caffeine to medicate away their daytime sleepiness, getting into more automobile accidents than ever before, and suffering sleep-related health issues like anxiety, attention deficit, depression, even obesity, as a result.

To learn more about American teen sleep habits, check out the 2006 Sleep in America poll teen results here.