We’ve probably all heard a teenager complain at some point of feeling tired or wanting more sleep. In fact, many adults would love to get more sleep than they currently do as well. Rather than just face the shorter sleep hours as a “fact of life,” or “part of growing up,” let’s understand some of the risks taken when not sleeping the amount we should.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following are associated with inadequate sleep:
– mental health issues
– academic problems
– substance abuse
– weight gain
None of these issues are desirable, so it is important to maintain a healthy amount of sleep for teenagers. What more, the study conducted by the AAP concluded that many teenagers who sleep less than the healthy 7 hours report feeling that they sleep an adequate amount. This not only means that some teenagers aren’t getting enough sleep, but that many of them don’t even KNOW that they’re not getting enough sleep.
We get it. Sleep isn’t as fun as going out or staying up sometimes; there’s no, “Oh, man! I had a great time last night sleeping!” where they might be such sentiment after spending time with friends or staying up in front of the computer or television. That doesn’t change how important it is to our health. If, as a parent, you’re having a tough time convincing your teenager to hit the hay early enough to get 7 hours before waking up to get to school, let them know the risks they run. At the very least, let them know that sleep is crucial to growth, as we’re sure every kid wants to grow as big and strong as they possibly can.
To read the full study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and see what the four pediatricians themselves had to say about their study, click on over to the American Academy of Pediatrics’s official journal site.