Many of the nation’s adolescents (ages 11 – 17) are falling asleep in class, arriving late to school, feeling down and driving drowsy because of lack of sleep, according to a national survey by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). The poll found that only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep on school nights.
According to the survey, the consequences of insufficient sleep affect nearly every aspect of teenage life. Among the most important findings:
- At least once a week, 28% of high school students fall asleep in school, 22% fall asleep doing homework, and 14% arrive late or miss school because they overslept.
- Adolescents who get insufficient amounts of sleep are more likely than their peers to get lower grades, while 80% of adolescents who get an optimal amount of sleep say they’re achieving As and Bs in school.
- 51% of adolescent drivers have driven drowsy during the past year.
- Among those adolescents who report being unhappy, tense and nervous, 73% feel they don’t get enough sleep at night and 59% are excessively sleepy during the day.
Do you have to wake your child for school? Is your child’s behavior different on days that he/she gets a good night’s sleep vs. days that he/she doesn’t? Does he/she rely on a caffeinated drink in the morning to wake up? And/or drink two or more caffeinated drinks per day? These are some of the warning signs that your child may not be getting the sleep he/she needs.
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