Teens — too wired to sleep

Only 20 percent of all teens get the recommended nine hours of sleep per night. Yet more than half of all teens report feeling sleepy during the day.  The impact of this includes being late to school or falling asleep in school, being too tired to exercise or driving while drowsy.

According to a new study, electronic devices may contribute to teens not getting enough sleep at night. In the study, 100 teens filled out questionnaires about how much time after 9 p.m. they spent with various electronic devices.  The results were eye-opening: 82 percent reported watching television, more than half reported on-line computer use, and a little less than half reported talking on the phone.  Fifty-seven percent reported completing homework.  On average, teens engaged in four technology activities after 9 p.m.  And, caffeine consumption tended to be higher in the teens who were multitasking and getting less sleep.

Suggestions to improve your teen’s sleep:

  1. Avoid having a TV or computer in the bedroom and turn them off at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
  2. Set limits for when your teen can make or receive phone calls and text messages.
  3. Limit caffeine, especially after lunch time.
  4. Make sleep a priority in your family and set a good example.

If you are concerned about your teen’s sleep habits, learn more about how we can help by visiting Children’s Sleep Center.

Lynn D'Andrea, MD~ Lynn D’Andrea, MD, medical director, Sleep Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

The Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the only sleep center in the state dedicated solely to the care of children and teens. The center has two locations (Milwaukee and New Berlin) both accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and staffed by four board-certified pediatric sleep specialists.

Comments

Teens — too wired to sleep — 1 Comment

  1. Teens and caffeine is a serious subject today. Just ask hospital emergency rooms and poison control centers, both of which are seeing more and more teens with “caffeine intoxication.”

    One of the problems is that caffeine is in EVERYTHING! And no one knows just how much caffeine they consume daily. Food and drink manufacturers are adding the drug stimulant to all kinds of products — from energy drinks and cold medicines to potato chips, candy bars and even chewing gum. Why is caffeine an added ingredient to everything? The manufacturers know it’s addictive and they want repeat customers. It is teenagers who are the major consumers of popular caffeine-intense energy drinks.

    Ethic Soup blog has a number of well-researched, excellent articles on caffeine, including:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2009/02/caffeine-is-in-everything-how-much-is-in-you.html#more

    One article on teens and caffeine, which discusses the most recent research on teens and caffeine is at:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2010/01/caffeine-gender-effect-caffeine-more-addictive-for-boys-than-girls.html