Many American teens are sleep-deprived, and parents blame their attachment to electronics, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They conducted a national poll of more than 1,000 parents with at least one child between 13 and 18 years old.
Forty-three percent of the parents said their teen had trouble falling asleep or tossed and turned during the night.
And 56 percent of these parents said that electronics, particularly cellphones and social media, were robbing their teenagers of sleep. More than 40 percent suggested their teens’ homework load and activities disrupted their sleep schedule. Meanwhile, 31 percent said worries about school affected their child’s sleep, and 23 percent said their teen’s concerns about their social life kept them up at night. In addition, 10 percent of parents said a health condition or medication had a negative effect on their child’s sleep habits.
Many parents reported trying to encourage better sleep. More than half said they suggest limiting caffeine intake in the evening or tell their teen to turn off their phones and other electronic devices at bedtime. More than 40 percent recommend a snack before bed, 36 percent tried natural sleep remedies like melatonin, and 28 percent said their teen has tried a sleep aid.
Inadequate or disrupted sleep can have long-lasting health effects that go beyond moodiness and irritability. These include difficulty concentrating in school and an increased risk of auto accidents. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to health problems ranging from obesity to depression.
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