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- What happens when teens don’t get enough sleep, according to doctors
- The health impact of too little sleep
- How to help your teen sleep better
- Teens and sleep: Why you need it and how to get enough
- Why do teens need more sleep?
- Why is it important to get enough sleep?
- What causes my sleepiness?
- How do I know if I’m getting enough sleep?
- Why is it so hard to get enough sleep?
- See your doctor if you:
- Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
- Your Teens and Tweens Need More Sleep!
- So what can parents do to help teens and tweens get more sleep?
- Strategies you can do during the day to help with sleep
- Nighttime routines to help your teens and tweens get more sleep
- What to do if your tweens and teens struggle to fall asleep
- Sleep interruptions worse for mood than overall reduced amount of sleep, study finds
- Let Teenagers Sleep In
- Bedtimes Are Much Later on Weekends, Especially for Teens
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The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Jonathan Jun, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Sleep apnea, left untreated for even a few days, can increase blood sugar and fat levels, stress hormones and blood pressure, according to a new study of sleeping subjects.
A report of the study’s findings, published in the August issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, adds further support for the consistent use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a machine that increases air pressure in the throat to keep the airway open during […]
The following article profiles work performed in part by ICTR researcher Paul Worley, M.D., professor of neuroscience.
Chemical recalibration of brain cells during sleep is crucial for learning, and sleeping pills may sabotage it Studying mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins have fortified evidence that a key purpose of sleep is to recalibrate the brain cells responsible for learning and memory so the animals can “solidify” lessons learned and use them when they awaken — in the case of nocturnal mice, the next evening. The researchers, all of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, also report they have discovered several important […]
The Point of Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) drives the development of point-of-care technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need.
The goal of the Point Of Care Technology Research Network is to develop technologies with clinical applications using a network model that enhances complementary strengths and builds multidisciplinary partnerships.
If you have a promising point-of-care medical technology in need of further development, review the following funding opportunities: Development of Point-of-Care (POC) Testing for HIV and co-morbidities for use in low- and middle-income countries Sponsored by The Center for Innovation in Point of Care Technologies […]
Imagine not being able to drive, shower alone or even work because you are never quite sure when the next seizure will leave you incapacitated. Hope may be on the horizon for epilepsy patients who have had limited success with seizure drugs.
In a study, led by a Johns Hopkins lead investigator, of 437 patients across 107 institutions in 16 countries, researchers found that the investigational drug cenobamate reduced seizures 55% on the two highest doses of this medication that were tested over the entire treatment period.
The findings of this trial were published Nov. 13 in The Lancet Neurology. Currently, […]
Technology that lets humans communicate with machines adapts well to role as medical detective. This article discusses the work of ICTR Researchers Dr. Masoud Rouhizadeh and Dr. Douglas Mogul.
Natural language processing, the technology that lets computers read, decipher, understand and make sense of human language, is the driving force behind internet search engines, email filters, digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, and language-to-language translation apps.
Now, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have given this technology a new job as a clinical detective, diagnosing the early and subtle signs of language-associated cognitive impairments in patients with […]
This article features ICTR Nutritionist, Diane Vizthum, MS, RD. Ah, coffee. Whether you’re cradling a travel mug on your way to work or dashing out after spin class to refuel with a skinny latte, it’s hard to imagine a day without it.
The caffeine perks you up, and there’s something incredibly soothing about sipping a steaming cup of joe. But is drinking coffee good for you? Good news: The case for coffee is stronger than ever.
Study after study indicates you could be getting more from your favorite morning beverage than you thought: Coffee is chock full of substances that […]
Two FDA-approved drugs significantly extend survival time in mouse model of deadly gynecologic disease Delivering two federally approved immunity-altering drugs together significantly extended the lives of mice injected with human ovarian cancer cells, an early proof-of-concept experiment that may advance treatment for the most deadly — although rare — gynecologic malignancy in humans, according to scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center who performed the research. The combination treatment appears to improve survival by changing the natural ratio of different types of immune system “clean up” cells called macrophages, a therapy target that’s received less attention than other immune system components […]
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia and seven other medical institutions report that an experimental drug called vosoritide, which interferes with certain proteins that block bone growth, allowed the average annual growth rate to increase in a study of 35 children and teenagers with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. The patients’ average boost in height to about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) per year is close to growth rates among children of average stature, and the side effects of the drug were mostly mild, according to the researchers. Results of the four-year study are summarized […]
More than one in 10 people successfully treated with antibiotics for Lyme disease go on to develop chronic, sometimes debilitating, and poorly understood symptoms of fatigue and brain fog that may last for years after their initial infection has cleared up.
Do you have a promising point-of-care medical technology in need of further development? The NIH’s Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) drives the development of point-of-care technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need.
The goal of the Point Of Care Technology Research Network is to develop technologies with clinical applications using a network model that enhances complementary strengths and builds multidisciplinary partnerships.
POCTRN announces new solicitations from its four Centers: Development of Point-of-Care (POC) Testing for HIV and co-morbidities for use in low- and middle-income countries The Center for Innovation in Point of Care Technologies […]
Researchers find that the hunger hormone leptin eases breathing problems in mice during sleep Experimenting with mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have added to evidence that a hormone best known for helping regulate hunger and body weight might also ease breathing problems experienced during sleep more effectively when given through the nose. Although clinical trials using the hormone, known as leptin, aren’t yet on the horizon, the investigators say their success delivering it through the test animals’ noses may help them develop easier-to-use therapies for people with sleep-related breathing problems such as sleep apnea. The findings were published online Oct. […]
What happens when teens don’t get enough sleep, according to doctors
Physicians say they see the consequences of late-to-bed early-to-rise every day in their office. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Once upon a time, it seemed all you wanted was your baby to sleep past 6 a.m. Fast-forward 15 years later and you’ve gotten your wish: in fact, you’re now dragging your teen bed every morning (and their kicking and screaming rivals their toddler years).
What happened? Blame it on puberty.
“When kids go through adolescence, they experience a natural delay in their circadian rhythms because their bodies begin producing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin later in the evening,” explains Nathaniel Watson, MD, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle and a spokesperson for the American Association of Sleep Medicine. This means that while they were once yawning and rubbing their eyes by 8:30 p.m., now their bodies naturally gravitate towards sleep right around the time The Late Show with Stephen Colbert starts — and sometimes even later.
While this sounds good in theory — no more 5 a.m. impromptu wake-ups — it’s actually the start of a new nightmare. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all teens get between 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
Yet, less than a fifth of all teens get the bare minimum eight hours required, according to a survey published last December by the Better Sleep Council.
Their research found that almost 80 percent of all teens get seven hours or less of sleep a night, and an alarming two-thirds report clocking five to seven hours.
“They can’t get the sleep they need if school starts at 7:30 and they have to be on the bus by 6:45,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, a sleep specialist in Los Angeles and author of The Power of When.
“That makes a teen who has to get up at 6:30 a.m. for school the equivalent of an adult who has to get up for work at 4:30 a.m.
It’s doesn’t mesh with their biological clock, and it’s a recipe for disaster.”
The health impact of too little sleep
When they don’t get the rest they need, explains Cora Bruener, MD, that means the front lobe of their brain — which is responsible for attention and concentration, as well as executive functioning — suffers. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Physicians say they see the consequences of late-to-bed early-to-rise every day in their office.
“It’s a sleep deprivation epidemic,” says Cora Breuner, MD, past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence and a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Wash. “Six or seven hours of sleep may sound a lot to an adult, but it’s not enough for a teen whose brain and body is still growing and developing.
” When they don’t get the rest they need, she adds, that means the front lobe of their brain — which is responsible for attention and concentration, as well as executive functioning — suffers. “They find it harder to learn new facts, to focus on what they’re doing in the classroom and to articulate their thoughts,” she says.
A study published by MIT researchers this past October in Science of Learning found that the less sleep college students got, the poorer their grades.
Related: Researchers Report Later School Start Times Helps Teens Sleep Better
But there are also other profound health consequences. Teens who routinely get less than six hours of sleep a night have four times the risk of depression as those who get enough rest, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Sleep.
Another 2018 study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that teens who skimp on sleep have higher blood pressure and cholesterol than those who get at least eight hours of snooze time a night. “This was after taking into account other factors diet, exercise levels and how much TV they watched,” says Breus.
One reason may be because when you are sleep-deprived, your body churns out more of stress hormones cortisol to compensate, which can cause you to gain weight and impact your heart health.
The lack of sleep can also impact teen’s well-being by leading to shoddy overall lifestyle habits.
“Many of my patients get up at 5:45 to make a 6:15 long bus, and they’re not allowed to eat on their hour-long ride, so they show up to class exhausted and starving and can’t eat until lunch,” says Dyan Hes, MD, Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in NYC and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
“To make it through the day, they’re drinking tons of coffee or energy drinks Red Bull. I had one girl come in who told me she drank venti Starbucks coffees with four shots of espresso several times a day. I was horrified — that’s more than enough caffeine to trigger a fatal arrhythmia!”
How to help your teen sleep better
The good news is teens’ biological clocks naturally shift back to an earlier wake up time at around age 20 or 21—just around the time they’re graduating from college and preparing to enter the work force. But in the meantime, parents have to grapple with the fallout. Here’s some expert approved advice on how:
People who read from a screen before bed find it harder to wake up in the morning and feel alert, even if they sleep seven to eight hours, according to a 2015 Harvard study. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Set a digital curfew. Electronic devices TVs, tablets, smartphones and laptops all emit an artificial blue light that suppresses the release of melatonin, says Breus.
“The more time a teen is in front of electronics in the evening, the greater the delay in the release of melatonin which can make sleep challenging,” he says. It’s not just that your teen sleeps fewer hours, either: the quality of their sleep can suffer.
People who read from a screen before bed find it harder to wake up in the morning and feel alert, even if they sleep seven to eight hours, according to a 2015 Harvard study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I’m definitely the iPhone police: I go into my kids’ rooms at night and if they’re on their social media after about 10 p.m., I take it away,” says Hes, who has two teens, ages 13 and 16.
If your teen fights you, or has a project that involves them burning the midnight oil on their computer, Breus recommends blue blockers, glasses that filter out wavelengths in the blue part of the spectrum.
(You can order blue blockers, such as Uvex Skyper, online.
) One study published in 2015 in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that boys who wore blue blockers during the evening when they were glued to their computer or iPad felt significantly sleepier than those who wore clear lenses.
Be strict about bedtime. “Even though my kids fought me all through high school, I made sure they were in bed by 10:30 every night,” says Valerie Erde, a mom of two in Greenwich, Conn., who successfully convinced her school district to move high school start times an hour later in 2017.
Sometimes that meant telling them they couldn’t participate in all the activities they wanted, or that they couldn’t watch the football game on TV, or that they couldn’t hang out with their friends one day after school. “It was actually good for them, because it taught them how to balance their homework and extracurriculars with their friend and family time,” Erde says.
“They learned that they couldn’t always do it all, and that that’s part of life.”
Besides setting and sticking to regular bedtimes, Breus also recommends the power down hour.
This means that the last 60 minutes before bed, teens take that first 20 minutes for activities that need to be done before morning, getting their clothes laid out for the next day and packing their backpack.
The next 20 minutes is for hygiene: they wash their face, brush their teeth, and even take their shower, before devoting the last 20 minutes to doing something relaxing listening to music in their room or reading a book.
Visit startschoollater.net to learn how to effectively lobby your school distract (including your Board of Education). (Photo: Getty Creative)
Advocate for later start times. Shifting school start times 30 to 60 minutes later may not seem a lot, but it can have a profound shift on your teen’s academic performance.
Teens at two Seattle high schools got just over a half hour more sleep after school times were pushed from 7:50 to 8:45, according to a December 2018 study published in Science Advances.
But while it was just an extra 34 minutes of sleep, final grades for students were on average about 4.5 percent higher, and the number of tardies and first-period absences dropped dramatically.
“We found that the teens still went to sleep at the exact same time — they just slept in later, which is what they clearly needed,” explains Breuner. You can find information on how to effectively lobby your school distract (including your Board of Education) at startschoollater.net.
Let them sleep in on Saturdays. While most sleep experts recommend sticking to a consistent sleep/wake-up time, if your teen is burning the midnight oil during the week it’s fine to let them sleep in on Saturday, says Breus (who has two teens himself). The only catch? Don’t let them do it on Sundays too.
“If they wake up too late on Sunday, then they will have trouble falling asleep that evening, and will walk into school Monday morning once again sleep deprived,” he explains. And keep them on a tight sleep and wake-up schedule during the rest of the week.
The MIT study also found that college students who kept consistent bedtimes performed better in school, regardless of how much sleep they got.
Encourage your teen to skip sleep supplements and practice healthy sleep hygiene. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Stay away from sleep supplements. More than a third of all teens have tried over the counter or prescription sleep products, or the sleep supplement melatonin, to help them sleep, according to a 2018 survey done by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan.
Long-term use of over-the counter sleeping aids, Tylenol PM and antihistamines, have been shown to cause cognitive impairment in older adults and over time may have similar effects on teen brains.
“Supplements melatonin aren’t regulated by the FDA, so they’re not safe for teens either, since there’s no way to tell if they actually contain melatonin and if they do, how much,” says Cora Breuner, MD, past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence and a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Wash.
“They’re much better off practicing good sleep hygiene instead, which means staying off of electronics after a certain point, making sure they get some exercise in earlier in the day, and cutting out all caffeine after about 2 p.m.”
Read more on Yahoo Lifestyle:
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Teens and sleep: Why you need it and how to get enough
- Tired of always feeling sleepy?
- Having trouble staying awake in class?
- Find it hard to get bed for school in the morning?
- Have an overwhelming need for a nap as soon as you get home from school?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many teenagers feel that they are always tired.
Why do teens need more sleep?
Sleep helps to fuel your brain and your body. Teens need more sleep because their bodies and minds are growing quickly.
Scientific research shows that many teens do not get enough sleep. To be at your best, you need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every day. While you might not always be able to get this much, it’s important to try and get as much as you can.
Why is it important to get enough sleep?
Although getting enough sleep may not seem that big a deal, teens who don’t get enough sleep and are overtired are more ly to:
- struggle in school,
- have trouble with memory, concentration and motivation (the desire to accomplish a goal),
- be involved in car crashes and other accidents. Sleepiness (the feeling of wanting or needing to sleep in places and at times when you shouldn’t) affects reaction times, or
- feel depressed, which can become a serious medical condition.
What causes my sleepiness?
Often the reason is obvious, such as too many late nights in a row. Although there are some medical causes of sleepiness, most sleepy teens just aren’t getting enough sleep.
How do I know if I’m getting enough sleep?
Signs that you need more sleep can include:
- difficulty waking up in the morning,
- trouble concentrating throughout the day,
- falling asleep during classes, and
- feeling moody or even depressed.
Why is it so hard to get enough sleep?
There are many reasons. Some you may be able to control and some you may not.
You probably have a very busy life, but you still need “downtime” to relax, unwind and spend time with friends. This usually happens at the expense of sleeping. Many teens also crave the quiet privacy of a late night after parents have gone to bed.
When you think about all the other things you need to do (homework, socializing, sports, chores, part-time jobs, etc.), getting to bed early enough to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep can seem pretty hard.
Here are some suggestions:
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Have a light snack (such as a glass of milk) before bed. Try to go to bed at about the same time every night. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet but open the curtains or turn on the lights as soon as you get up in the morning.
- Always fall asleep in your bed. Use your bed for sleeping only. Avoid doing homework, using a smartphone or tablet, or playing video games while in bed. Try to be in your bed with the lights out for at least 8 hours every night.
- Napping during the day can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you want to nap, keep it short (less than 30 minutes). Definitely don’t nap after dinner.
- Get exercise every day, but avoid very hard exercise in the evening.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, pop, energy drinks), especially after mid-afternoon. Don’t use any products to help you sleep such as alcohol, herbal products or over-the-counter sleep aids.
- Limit screen time before bed. Using electronic media and being exposed to the screen’s light before trying to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
- On weekends, no matter how late you go to bed, try to get up within 2 hours to 4 hours of your usual wake time. This is especially important if you have trouble falling asleep on Sunday nights.
- Make sure you are not trying to do too much. Do you still have some time for fun and to get enough sleep? If you are having trouble sleeping because you have too much on your mind, try keeping a diary or to-do lists. If you write things down before sleep, you may feel less worried or stressed.
See your doctor if you:
- have trouble falling asleep at night despite trying the tips in this document.
- wake up through the night or early in the morning and cannot get back to sleep.
- continue to feel you have no energy despite getting enough sleep.
- are having trouble meeting your responsibilities – such as not being able to go to school, get to work on time, or spend time with your friends.
- have feelings of sadness that don't seem to go away.
- have worried feelings that make it hard to focus on other things.
- often feel sick in other ways (such as headaches, loss of appetite or other symptoms you can't explain).
Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
- Adolescent Health Committee
- Community Paediatrics Committee
- Public Education Advisory Committee
Last Updated: May 2018
Your Teens and Tweens Need More Sleep!
We all know that sleep is important. Not only do we need enough sleep to feel rested and have energy for our day, but there are also a variety of specific reasons why our bodies need sleep. These include heart health and brain health.
Our brains need sleep to process the information learned during the day, making connections between what we learned during the day and what we already know. and let go of negative emotions. Lack of sleep leads to poor concentration and poor decision making, and can even contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
How do you know if your teens and tweens are sleeping enough? Sleep expert Susheel Patil, M.D., clinical director of John Hopkins Sleep Medicine, says “you should be able to get into bed and fall asleep within about 15 minutes, and wake up without an alarm clock, feeling rested. On average, the amount of sleep you get this way is probably the amount you need.”
Nourishing Tweens is a participant in several affiliate programs, advertising programs that provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and other websites. I only recommend things that I truly and would use myself. If you click through my links and make a purchase, there is no additional charge to you.
Sleep deprivation is very common among teenagers. According to Dr.
Michael Crocetti , the Chief of Pediatrics at John Hopkins University, tweens and teens need 9-9 ½ hours of sleep per night because they are going through a second stage of cognitive development and maturation in the brain. Teens and tweens need the extra sleep to support this brain growth as well as physical growth spurts.
Teens need more sleep
Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash
Many people are surprised to hear that teens and tweens need 9-9 ½ hours of sleep per night. We know little kids need lots of sleep, but big kids? YES. Not only do their brains need sleep to allow for growth, but the sleep also protects them from negative consequences such as depression, anxiety, drug use, drowsy driving, and even suicide.
Unfortunately, it can be really hard for teenagers to get enough sleep for a variety of reasons. Busy schedules, lots of homework, and distracting tech phones, social media, and video games all contribute to the issue.
But did you know that the teenage years also bring a change in the circadian rhythm? Many teenagers don’t feel ready to go to sleep until past 10 pm or even 11 pm. Too many schools start at a very early hour, such as 7:30 am.
These two facts work together to make getting enough sleep seem impossible.
So what can parents do to help teens and tweens get more sleep?
Take a look at both the daytime and evening activities of your family:
Strategies you can do during the day to help with sleep
- Get plenty of exercise and activity during waking hours so your body is ready for sleep at night.
- Have a time during the day to tackle problems. Many teens and tweens use bedtime as the time to “open up” to their parents, or they may just lay in bed fretting about things. To combat this, make sure there is a chance earlier in the day to work through issues. Perhaps dinner time would be the right moment to discuss problems they’re facing at school or with friends. It might also be good to teach them how to do a “brain dump” so that they can stop the circle of worry.
- Think about whether your family’s schedule is interfering with sleep. Are there too many activities planned? Can anything be let go? Could dinner time be changed? Do you need to shut off the TV earlier?
- With the circadian rhythm changes in mind, think about whether an earlier bedtime will work for your teens or not. Perhaps a later wake-up could be a better answer. Look at the morning to-do list and think about what could be moved to the evenings so that tweens and teens could get up later. For example, showers could be taken at night instead of in the morning. Clothes could be chosen and lunches could be made in the evening. Breakfast could be eaten on the way to school. If you need an easy, portable breakfast for teens try my Super-Healthy Chocolate Protein Smoothie or my Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.
Nighttime routines to help your teens and tweens get more sleep
When we have babies and toddlers in the house, most of us parents establish a nice bedtime routine to help with sleep patterns. However, as the kids get older those routines get disrupted by things activity schedules and homework.
By the time we have teens, bedtime routines might be fairly nonexistent. But everyone needs a bedtime routine. Routine signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep, and it can make falling asleep easier.
Take some time to think about how your family’s evenings play out, and what changes could be helpful so your teens can get more sleep.
- Everyone needs to brush their teeth and do some other self-care tasks at bedtime. Do you have time set for this? Or a certain order?
- Even though teens are older, parents need to have clear limits and expectations, which needs to include a timeframe. Teens are too young and their brain development is such that they cannot always make the best decisions for themselves.
- No screens at bedtime. There are several reasons for this. First, the light of the screens interferes with melatonin production and disrupts the sleep cycle. Second, the temptations of social media, texting friends, and playing games are too hard to resist when the opportunity is right there. NO PHONES IN THE BEDROOM OVERNIGHT. Choose an end time for screens. In our house, my son is expected to be done with his computer games before dinner, by 7 pm (I am thinking of changing this to 6:30). My kids are expected to have their phones in the kitchen by 9 pm. Do not disturb is set on their phones from 9 pm-6:45 am. This is a work in progress. You need to find the right time frame for your family and be strict about it.
- When your kids were little, you probably read them a story and sang them a song every night as part of the bedtime routine. If your kids are too old for these things, that’s fine…but what has it been replaced by? Finding the right bedtime activity can really help with sleep. Maybe your teens enjoy reading at bedtime. Or maybe they would prefer journaling or drawing. Help them find a screen-free activity to help wind down the day. Read Calming Activities for Tweens and Teens if you need ideas.
- Make sure your tween or teen’s bedroom is the right cozy atmosphere for good sleep. Is it dark and quiet? Room darkening curtains can help. Some people really benefit from a white noise machine for the relaxing sounds it gives. Another popular choice is an essential oil diffuser that can be filled with sleep-supporting aromas lavender. If you’d to learn more about how essential oils can help, read my article about why your family needs essential oils.
This is the white noise machine we use. It works just fine and is reasonably priced:
This is a white noise machine that’s also an essential oil diffuser and nightlight:
What to do if your tweens and teens struggle to fall asleep
I’ve already mentioned essential oils. They are good for everyone, but they can be especially helpful for those with sleep issues insomnia. They can be used in a diffuser for aromatherapy and can also be used topically.
I have a roll-on product from Young Living called Tranquil. I roll it on the back of my neck and onto my wrists as I go to bed, as does my daughter and my husband. We have found it really helps support falling asleep and staying asleep.
If you’re interested, please read my article about essential oils.
Another helpful product that we have in our house is a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets can help soothe the nervous system so that you can relax. This one comes in different colors and sizes and has a removable cover for washing:
Some people benefit from taking melatonin at bedtime to help them go to sleep. Our pediatrician recommended it for my daughter. Ask your doctor if this would be a good choice for your tween or teen.
Proper nutrition is also very important for quality sleep. Make sure caffeine is limited and not consumed more than 6 hours before bedtime. Consider reducing sugar intake and increasing healthy fats in your family’s diet. If you haven’t already, please read my article about why your family needs plenty of healthy fat.
If your family is eating well but still struggling to sleep well, there are supplements that can help. Perfect Supplements is an excellent company with well-sourced and tested supplements. They have several supplements that can support sleep, such as magnesium and Rhodiola Rosea.
If you head over to Perfect Supplements, use my code TWEENS10 to get 10% off! AND even better news…from Jan. 21-28 this code will get you 15% off! Buy three items and you get 25% off!
I hope you’ve found my suggestions helpful! Please pin and share!
Photo by Nur Taufik Zamari on Unsplash
Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash
I did a lot of research for this sleep article and I’d to share my sources in case you want to learn more:
Among Teens Sleep Deprivation is an Epidemic. – Stanford Medicine. This article is very thorough and describes several sleep research studies.
Teenagers and Sleep: How Much Sleep is Enough? – Hopkins Medicine
Why Teens Need Way More Sleep -LP Tutoring
Tips on Getting to Sleep Faster – Parenting in Real Life
Sleep interruptions worse for mood than overall reduced amount of sleep, study finds
A study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggests that awakening several times throughout the night is more detrimental to people's positive moods than getting the same shortened amount of sleep without interruption.
As they report in the November 1 issue of the journal Sleep, researchers studied 62 healthy men and women randomly subjected to three sleep experimental conditions in an inpatient clinical research suite: three consecutive nights of either forced awakenings, delayed bedtimes or uninterrupted sleep.
Participants subjected to eight forced awakenings and those with delayed bedtimes showed similar low positive mood and high negative mood after the first night, as measured by a standard mood assessment questionnaire administered before bedtimes. Participants were asked to rate how strongly they felt a variety of positive and negative emotions, such as cheerfulness or anger.
But the researchers say significant differences emerged after the second night: The forced awakening group had a reduction of 31 percent in positive mood, while the delayed bedtime group had a decline of 12 percent compared to the first day. Researchers add they did not find significant differences in negative mood between the two groups on any of the three days, which suggests that sleep fragmentation is especially detrimental to positive mood.
“When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don't have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration,” says study lead author Patrick Finan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Although the study was conducted on healthy subjects with generally normal sleep experiences, Finan says the results are ly to apply to those who suffer from insomnia.
Frequent awakenings throughout the night are common among new parents and on-call health care workers, he says.
It is also one of the most common symptoms among people with insomnia, who make up an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. adult population.
“Many individuals with insomnia achieve sleep in fits and starts throughout the night, and they don't have the experience of restorative sleep,” Finan says.
Depressed mood is a common symptom of insomnia, Finan says, but the biological reasons for this are poorly understood. To investigate the link, he and his team used a test called polysomnography to monitor certain brain and body functions while subjects were sleeping to assess sleep stages.
Compared with the delayed bedtime group, the forced awakening group had shorter periods of deep, slow-wave sleep.
The lack of sufficient slow-wave sleep had a statistically significant association with the subjects' reduction in positive mood, the researchers say.
They also found that interrupted sleep affected different domains of positive mood; it reduced not only energy levels, but also feelings of sympathy and friendliness.
Finan says the study also suggests that the effects of interrupted sleep on positive mood can be cumulative, since the group differences emerged after the second night and continued the day after the third night of the study.
“You can imagine the hard time people with chronic sleep disorders have after repeatedly not reaching deep sleep,” Finan says.
However, he says, further studies are needed to learn more about sleep stages in people with insomnia and the role played by a night of recovering sleep.
Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Let Teenagers Sleep In
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This article has been updated to reflect news developments.
A fresh-faced batch of teenagers just began a new school year, but will they get the most it? In the mornings, many are forced to get to school much too early. And at night, ubiquitous screens are a lure that’s hard to resist. This double whammy is a perfect lesson in sleep deprivation.
Three every four students in grades 9 to 12 fail to sleep the minimum of eight hours that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends for their age group. And sleep deprivation is unremittingly bad news. Anyone who talks about sleep as if it’s some kind of inconvenience and getting less of it is a virtue should be challenged. These people are dangerous.
At its most basic, insufficient sleep results in reduced attention and impaired memory, hindering student progress and lowering grades.
More alarmingly, sleep deprivation is ly to lead to mood and emotional problems, increasing the risk of mental illness.
Chronic sleep deprivation is also a major risk factor for obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer. As if this weren’t enough, it also makes falling asleep at the wheel much more ly.
It is important to understand why teenagers have a particularly hard time getting enough sleep, and what adults need to do to help.
First, a reminder of the basic biology: After puberty, adolescents are no longer the morning larks of their younger years. They become rewired as night owls, staying awake later and then sleeping in. This is not part of a feckless project to frustrate parents, but is driven by changes in the way the brain responds to light.
New technology habits aren’t helping. More teenagers now turn to activities involving screens at night. According to a report this year from the Pew Research Center, some 95 percent of children aged 13 to 17 now have access to a smartphone, up from 37 percent in 2012 and 73 percent in 2015.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey from 2017 reveals that 43 percent of high-school students are playing computer or video games for more than three hours on an average school night.
Given the binge viewing encouraged by the s of Netflix and and the pressure to nurture social networks , Instagram and Snapchat, the total screen time for youngsters is probably well in excess of six hours a day, on average.
The growth in screen time is particularly problematic for sleep.
Not only does it eat into the time available for rest, but the blue light emitted by LEDs, TVs, tablets and smartphones suppresses the body’s secretion of melatonin, the hormone that signals it’s time to sleep. Overdosing on screens at night effectively tells the brain it’s still daytime, delaying the body’s cues to sleep even further.
Parents should set real limits on screen time, model responsible use of devices and praise children who show signs of regulating their own media consumption. In the hour before bedtime, there should be a moratorium on bright lights in the home, avoiding devices and harsh LED bulbs often found in kitchens and bathrooms.
Excessive screen use is compounded by a dangerous tradition: starting high school abnormally early. data available from 2015, 86 percent of high schools started before 8:30 a.m., and one in 10 high schools had a start time before 7:30 a.m.
Prying a teenager bed at 6 a.m. to get to school is the equivalent of waking an adult at 4 a.m. The brain will be at its least active in the 24-hour cycle, which explains the monosyllabic grunts of teenagers as they lumber to the school bus.
In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., a policy now backed by the American Medical Association, the C.D.C. and many other health organizations.
Whenever schools have managed the transition to a later start time, students get more sleep, attendance goes up, grades improve and there is a significant reduction in car accidents. The RAND Corporation estimated that opening school doors after 8:30 a.m.
would contribute at least $83 billion to the national economy within a decade through improved educational outcomes and reduced car crash rates.
The Brookings Institution calculates that later school start times would lead to an average increase in lifetime earnings of $17,500.
Since 2014, several states have passed legislation related to school start times. In August, California lawmakers passed a bill that would have gone further. By 2021, most middle and high schools across the state would have had to start at 8:30 a.m. or later.
It was landmark legislation, according to Terra Ziporyn Snider of the grass-roots organization Start School Later, which has been campaigning for change since 2011.
“It is becoming less acceptable to run schools at unhealthy hours, and this bill reflects that sentiment,” she said. But California’s governor, Jerry Brown, vetoed the bill on Thursday amid opposition from local officials, a deeply regrettable decision.
It shows a tragic disregard for both the mental health of children and for science.
But Ms. Ziporyn Snider remains upbeat: “Eventually a bill this, created in the best interests of children, will pass. It’s only a matter of time.”
Parents need to be vocal about the reasons change is so important, joining forces with community leaders, sleep scientists, health professionals and educators to put school start times on the local, then state agendas.
Changing the operating hours of an institution so central to the community is far from easy. It requires strong leadership and adjustments by school bus companies and businesses offering services child care and extracurricular clubs.
But despite the upheaval involved, making such a shift would pay off in the long run. It is unthinkable that a school should operate with asbestos in the ceilings, with no central heating in winter or with rats in the kitchen. Starting school before 8:30 a.m.
should be equally unacceptable.
Henry Nicholls (@WayOfThePanda) is a journalist, science teacher, trustee of Narcolepsy U.K. and the author of “Sleepyhead: The Neuroscience of a Good Night’s Rest.”
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Bedtimes Are Much Later on Weekends, Especially for Teens
A new analysis by Johns Hopkins researchers of national data gathered from physical activity monitors concludes that most Americans hit the sack later on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Delayed bedtimes are especially pronounced for teens and young adults.
A report of the findings, published in the April issue of Chronobiology International, adds evidence to support recent pushes for later school start times, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins Wearable and Implantable Technology group.
“While most other studies have measured the timing and duration of bedtime through self-reports, we believe this is the first large-scale study to look at all days of the week separately and to use physical activity monitors to objectively determine gender-specific bedtime preferences and their changes over life span,” says Jacek Urbanek, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s first author, in a release.
Chronic sleep deprivation, often compensated with oversleeping on weekend nights, has been linked in previous research to depression, smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse, as well as being significantly overweight and less physically active in adolescents. In adults, sleep deprivation and sleep irregularities have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and premature mortality.
For the study, Urbanek and colleagues used data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a collection of wide-ranging health information from the United States population, to examine bedtime preferences for 11,951 participants ranging from 6 to 84 years old.
Each participant wore an accelerometer, a research-grade device similar to commercial fitness monitors, which measured physical activity for 7 consecutive days. All participants received in-person instructions to take the devices off before going to bed and put them back on upon waking up.
For the analysis, the researchers considered the bedtime nonwear periods as objective bedtime (OBT) and used the OBT’s midpoint (OBT-M) as a measure of chronotype, or a person’s preference for timing of sleep.
“If you would to compare the preference for timing of sleep of two people who get exactly the same, say, 8 hours of sleep, but one goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at 8 am, and the other one goes to bed at 2 am and wakes up at 10 am, you can use sleep midpoints that are 4 am and 6 am, respectively.
The midpoint on work- or school-free days is supposed to capture personal preferences for timing of sleep, which is controlled by circadian clock and which is different from total sleep duration controlled by homeostasis,” explains Vadim Zipunnikov, PhD, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the paper’s senior author.
By measuring such midpoints, the research team found that for all age groups, people on average went to bed later on Friday, even later on Saturday, and a bit less later on Sunday nights compared with weekday nights. The disparities were largest in teenagers and young adults, peaking at about 19 years old with on average 60-, 75-, and 30-minute later bedtime midpoints on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, respectively.
“Despite the need to get up for work or school the next morning, Sunday midpoints are still significantly later, arguably because of oversleeping on Friday and Saturday nights. This means that a lot of people ly start their week on Monday morning with some sleep debt,” says Zipunnikov, affirming previous research.
Additionally, midpoints of weekdays for teenagers were on average around 3:50 am, more than an hour later compared with average midpoints of 2:45 am for adults. This ly indicates that many middle and high schoolers do not get the minimally recommended 8 hours of sleep.
“Our findings provide additional evidence that sleep-wake cycles of teenagers are delayed and support for the idea that social systems should not encourage further sleep deprivation but instead work around physiological needs,” says Urbanek.
One way to accommodate these needs, the researchers say, is to delay school start times for middle and high school students.
Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the American Sleep Association have all released policy statements recommending later school start times.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 am.
Other authors on this paper include Adam P. Spira, Junrui Di, Andrew Leroux, and Ciprian Crainiceanu of The Johns Hopkins University.
Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health (R01HL123407, R01AG049872-01, R01AG050507, AG049872, AG050507, AG050745, and AG052445). Spira agreed to serve as a consultant to Awareables Inc, in support of an NIH grant.