But Mom, I need more sleep!

Two months into a new school year, and teenagers across the country are once again battling sleep deprivation. With afternoon activities, homework, social engagements, and late-night media, most high-schoolers are overwhelmed with expectations. Pair that with the crack-of-dawn bus trip, and teenagers are lucky to get 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, this pattern can put our high school kids at risk for dangerous consequences.

In an article published in the April 2018 Sleep journal, researchers reported the negative impact of misaligned circadian rhythms during adolescence. Teenagers often adopt later sleep onset, and with early school hours, lack adequate sleep duration for healthy cognition. The research study reported negative outcomes in brain function associated with impulsivity, response inhibition, motivation, and other psychological factors contributing to substance abuse disorders.

Sleep, Volume 41, Issue suppl_1, 27 April 2018, Pages A99, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy061.255