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Teens Missing Sleep May Drink

Posted on Posted in Blog, High School Scholar

Teens Missing Sleep May Drink

 
I know that I need to make the kiddos exercise, cut down on TV and tablet time so they won’t be overweight and headed for high cholesterol by the age of 13. I know the kiddos need vegetables. I am ready for the thumb prick at the doctors checking to make sure I’m ‘on it’ at dinner time.  And I am well aware that the kiddos need rest. When they don’t get it they take after their mama, they get mean, irritable and ready to succumb to tears at the very thought that something is not gonna go their way.  I used to think that a lack of sleep only made the kiddos cranky, less likely to concentrate.   Who knew it could drive young adults and adolescents to drinking? (and I’m not talking Kool-Aid)
Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.  Only 15% get 8 ½ hours on a school night.   Crucial considering the fact that a study released in February found that there is a connection between young adult and adolescent lack of sleep/ability to stay asleep and drinking or substance-related problems.  Data were collected from interviews and questionnaires and analyzed in 3 waves (T1: 1994 to 1995; T2: 1996; T3: 2001 to 2002).
For wave 1 - Adolescents who had sleep difficulties once a week, every day, or almost every day in the last 12 months were approximately:
  • 47% more likely to engage in binge drinking (Yikes!)
  • 80% more likely to engage in regretted sexual activities (Double Yikes!)
For wave 2 - Adolescents who had sleep difficulties once a week, every day, or almost every day in the last 12 months were approximately:
  • 71% more likely to have alcohol-related interpersonal problems
  • 65% more likely to engage in binge drinking
  • 57% more likely to have driven while drunk
  • 92% more likely to engage in regretted sexual activities 
We go to bed at a decent hour and allow no devices (that we know of) in the room at night. All in attempt to make sure the kiddos meet the Sandman at an acceptable hour.  Now I will make double sure that the resident teen will get to bed on time – even if it’s a few minutes after her younger siblings.  While I know the importance of exercise and veggies, I have greatly underestimated the power of sleep!

 

What are some signs your teen may be sleep deprived:

  • Hard to wake up in the morning.
  • Drinking too much coffee or caffeinated beverages.
  • Taking naps for more than 45 minutes during the week and sleeping more than 2 hours past normal wake up time on the weekend.

 

Is your teen sleep deprived?

 

 

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