We all know how important sleep is, so why is it that so many people don't get enough? The National Sleep Foundation reports than approximately 50 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep problems. while there are many great reasons to get a good night's sleep, many people simply don't place a high priority on sleep. The National Sleep Foundation report also found that nearly 63% of respondents simply accept sleep deprivation as a part of their life, while 32% turn to caffeinated drinks to combat daytime sleepiness.
New study finds that many teens are not getting enough sleep.Image courtesy Nur Cengiz
A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked more than 12,000 U.S. high school students how much sleep they were getting each night. Past research suggests that teenagers need to get at least nine hours of sleep each night. Of the 12,000 students surveyed, only 900 reported getting the recommended amount and another 2,8000 indicated that they got an average of eight hours of sleep each night.
The CDC suggests that sleeplessness can have a number of negative consequences on teen health and well-being, ranging from lowered judgment to decreased immunity.
According to the report:
- Thirty percent of the students slept for approximately seven hours each night
- Nearly twenty-three percent of students slept for six hours each night
- Ten percent slept less than five hours
- Almost six percent of students reported getting four or less hours of sleep each night.
So why do so many U.S. students not get the sleep they need? Unfortunately, the CDC study does not identify the underlying causes of this sleeplessness. Science News for Kids reports that some research suggests that computer screens might be linked with sleep problems. Researchers have found that the blue light emitted by computer screens can actually interfere with the body's natural cirdadian rhythms.
If you are struggling to get enough sleep, there are a number of different strategies you can use to help ensure a good night's rest. About.com's Guide to Sleep Disorders, Brandon Peters, offers several great tips such as going to bed at the same time every night and avoiding caffeine and alcohol at least four to six hours before you go to bed. Find more great ideas in his article on 10 ways to get a better night's sleep.
Read more: Sleep By the Numbers - Science News for Kids