Teen sleep deprivation is a public health concern, says AAP

Teen sleep deprivation is a public health concern, says AAP

In a policy statement released Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that sleep deprivation among teens is a public health concern that is widespread.

To deal with the problem, the organization clamored for a change in time slots by 30 minutes in middle and high schools, so as to help students get a bit more rest.

AAP gave such a statement considering the fact that 87% of the high school students in the U. S. are getting less than the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep and on an average a high school senior get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Further, it has been reported that nearly 28% of high school students reportedly felt asleep at school at least once a week and about one in five teenagers have reported that they fall asleep while doing their homework.

The alarming fact here is that the US teenagers are facing similar levels of sleeplessness that people with grave sleep disorders like narcolepsy face. The consequences of this can be drowsy driving there by putting adolescents at higher risk for car accidents. In addition to this, lack of sleep also affects mood, attention, memory and behavior of teens for the worst.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also explained as to why the teenagers are not able to go to bed early. They said that at the onset of adolescence there can be a delay in the secretion of melatonin hormone in the body.

This hormone is responsible for the sleep clock of the body. Besides this, researchers have also shown that the adolescent brain takes longer to relax and fall asleep as compared to the brains of people in other stages of life.

AAP statement says, "This research indicates that the average teenager in today's society has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p. m. and is best suited to wake up at 8 a. m. or later".

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