Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sleep-Deprived Teens Pose Safety Hazard

Children who do not get enough sleep are not functioning properly. They doze off in class, trying to get homework, and even drive drowsy. A clinical psychologist with the Henry Ford Sleep Center in Detroit says that 20% of children are getting optimal sleep, and about 50% of the children are getting insufficient sleep.

Children who are deprived of sufficient sleep are more likely to be depressed, to get bad grades, and they will not be good drivers.

Society is more the culprit than the children. Children stay up late, yet have to wake up very early in order to get to school in time. Most kids are more alert at night, and tend to wake up later in the morning. Yet, when they are in school, they are unable to get the needed rest with that schedule. Also, electronics have invaded their lives, including the bedroom. These things, such as the cell phone, televisions, and computers cause children to stay up longer, since they are in the bedroom where they would ordinarly go just to sleep. Perhaps it is time to get back to only a bed being in the bedroom!

  • At least once a week, 28 percent of high-schoolers fall asleep in school, 22 percent fall sleep while doing homework and 14 percent get to school late or miss school because they overslept.
  • During the past year, 51 percent of adolescents have driven while drowsy. Some 15 percent of drivers in grades 10 to 12 drive drowsy at least once a week.
  • More than one quarter (28 percent) of adolescents say they're too fatigued to exercise.
  • Most parents (90 percent) thought their kids were getting enough sleep time.

Parents should be watching their children more closely to make sure they get the needed rest. They would do good to take electronics from the teens in their bedrooms. Also, caffeine is harmful to teens, in that it deters sleep. Most teenagers have caffeine during the day and at night, with their meals. And, with better supervision, this could all be avoided.

Linked at Conservative Cat

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