If you're the parent of a teen, this does not surprise you at all: teens do not get enough sleep!
An online study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, 70 percent of high school students are not getting the recommended hours of sleep on school nights. I could have done that study in my office on any given day of the week!
Having raised 3 teenagers as well as thousands of teens in my practice, I know this to be true, first hand. The problem is this age group is least likely to believe or convince that lack of sleep causes a plethora of physical as well as psychological problems.
According to the CDC study, which was just published online in Preventive Medicine, insufficient sleep is associated with numerous risky behaviors including drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, fighting, lack of physical activity and being sexually active. The data on sleep was accumulated from the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey where students were asked, on an average school night, how many hours of sleep do you get?Insufficient sleep was defined as less than 8 hours, while sufficient sleep was 8 or more hours per night. On an average school night, almost 70% of responders reported insufficient sleep.
In my practice I ask every child/adolescent about their sleep habits and routinely find teens are averaging between 5 to 7 hours of sleep per night. They also come in everyday with a chief complaint of FATIGUE!
I used to tell my own sons throughout their high school years that they needed to be in bed at 10:30p.m. They could not understand why I was up pr
Most of us can remember how painfully sad we felt after our first breakup. Sometimes we were told that we were too young to know what real love was, or that it was just puppy love and wed get over it, or you might have heard the ever popular theres more than one fish in the sea.
I remember my first heartbreak. I was about 14 and the love of my life moved to Alaska. Alaska!!!
I cried for days and felt like the pain would never end. Eventually my heartbreak subsided and I moved on. My mother was very understanding " she liked my boyfriend too. She didnt tell me to get over it or to try and forget about him. She just listened, held me in her arms and let me know that yes, this was going to be hard but I was going to get through it.
I don't t think things have changed that much since my first breakup. It still hurts and is difficult to get over. When you're a pre-teen, teenager or young adult you just don't have the life experience to know that these things happen to everyone and you can and will get through it.
What can parents do to help their child deal with a breakup? Experts say the number one action parents can take is to listen. Sometimes things happen that a teen doesn't have any control over like the family is transferred and has to move away. Most times I suspect the two personalities just didn't work well together.
While it may be tempting, bringing up all the bad traits of the one who is gone won't help. It's not your break-up; it's your child's. You may be thrilled that the boyfriend or girlfriend is out of the picture, but it doesn't matter. There is always the possibility that they may get back together so don't say anything that you can't take back.
Your child is dealing with emotions that they may not be familiar with. What they need now is unconditional love and someone to talk to who will listen and respect how they feel. If youre not available they will put their heart in the hands of friends, and
The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University and appears in the journal Sleep. It shows that adolescents and teens with strict bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier were less likely to be depressed and to have suicidal thoughts than their classmates whose parents allowed them to stay up till midnight or even later. Another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health examined the sleep habits of more than 12,000 high school students and found that a mere eight percent are getting at least the recommended nine hours of sleep per night. The Columbia researchers found that bedtimes set by parents were almost as important as the total number of hours slept. Kids who were sent to bed at midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to be depressed and 20 percent more likely to have thoughts about suicide compared to teens whose lights had to be off by 10 p.m. The researchers surveyed 15,000 children in grades seven through 12 and their parents and found that more than two-thirds of the adolescents said they went to bed when they were supposed to. For 54 percent of kids, that's 10 p.m. or earlier on school nights. Another 21 percent must go to bed by 11 p.m, and 25 percent go to bed at midnight or later. The teens were also asked to fill out depression questionnaires and were asked whether they had seriously thought about suicide over the past year. Scientists have long known that there was a link between depression and poor sleep. But there has always been a question as to whether the depression caused insomnia or whether poor sleep led to depression. The fact that parent-enforced bedtimes play such a significant role suggests lack of sleep may actually be a cause, not just an effect of depression. As you know, I believe it's critical for all teens to have a firm bedtime. Begin winding down their night by turning off all electronics 1/2 hour before they head to bed. No TV on in the background and their cell phone should be