A survey by the National Sleep Council showed that teenagers get as little as four hours of sleep a night, staying up late to watch television, use the computer or engage in social media. Results indicated that one in three secondary school students survives on short bursts of “junk sleep”, showing up exhausted for school the next day.
Experts have linked poor quality sleep with weight gain and poor performance at school. 30% of teenagers surveyed were found to get only four to seven hours of sleep a night. 40% responded that they felt tired during the day.
Dr. Chris Idzikowski, from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: “I’m staggered that so few teenagers make the link between getting enough good sleep and how they feel in the day. Teenagers need to wake up to the fact that to feel well, perform well and look well, they need to do something. This is an incredibly worrying trend. What we are seeing is the emergence of ‘junk sleep’ – sleep that is of neither the length nor quality to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly at school.”
Dr. Idzikowski advises that parents need to be stricter with a lights-out policy and eliminate distractions to sleep in their children’s bedrooms. Research has shown that teenagers generally need eight to nine hours of sleep for proper restoration and growth.