A study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” suggests teens are not getting enough sleep. Apparently, the issue is so troublesome, researchers are identifying the time when teens start getting less sleep as the “Great Sleep Recession.” According to Katherine M. Keyes, Ph.D., from the Department of Epidemiology at the New York-based Columbia University, the decline in sleep became apparent after examining the past 20 years of self-reported sleep from a large group of adolescents. The findings indicate the possibility of a significant public health issue: Therefore calling for the need for health literacy and educational approaches.
The team of researchers based their findings on data originating from a cross-sectional survey of teens from the US. The study relies on information about a group of individuals born between 1973 and 2000. The data was collected between the years 1991 through 2000. The researchers questioned the participants as to how often they got less or greater than seven hours of sleep each evening. The results suggest the amount of sleep teens get declines over a period of two decades.
The study reveals a consistent decline in the amount of sleep teenagers are getting, especially when compared to amount of sleep they should be getting in order to live a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, females, racial/ethnic minorities, teens of low socioeconomic status and those residing in urban areas were the groups least likely to get seven hours of sleep.
On the Apex Tribune, writer Kelly Holzschlag explores the issue in greater depth. In an article entitled “Teenagers’ Sleep Patterns Prove Insufficient,” Holzchlag explains how over 270,000 teenagers from the tenth through twelfth grades were the participants in the study: All of which were getting about seven hours of sleep every night compared to the recommended nine hours of sleep teens require.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages six to thirteen should sleep 9-11 hours each evening. Teens, ages 14-17, require 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Meanwhile, young adults, ages 18-25, should sleep 7-9 hours each night. The study also indicates that Hispanic and African-American boys are those who are suffering from the greatest sleep deficiencies. The suspected reasoning for the sleep shortage is the increased uses of the Internet, social media, and anxiety inducing daily life stressors: All of which are serving as the major contributors of sleep deficiency in teens.