Important Sleep Solutions for Teens
“The bottom line is students are up too late and too long”
Sleep is so important for our kids’ mental and physical health, but unfortunately the data shows that they’re just not getting the rest they need. The CDC reports that nearly 73% of U.S. high school students and almost 58% of middle-school students receive less than the recommended amount of nighttime sleep. But a new survey by Sleep Number in partnership with GenYOUth found that adding just a few simple steps into kids’ nighttime routines can make a big difference. Read my conversation below with GenYOUth CEO Alexis Glick and Kathy Higgins, CEO of Alliance for a Healthier Generation to find out more.
Katie Couric: It’s really disturbing to learn how sleep deprived our kids have become. Can you help us understand what factors could be contributing to this pretty massive sleep loss?
Alexis Glick: In 2018, GenYOUth, home to the largest health and wellness program in schools in the nation, in partnership with Sleep Number and in counsel with Edelman Intelligence, conducted a national youth survey to gain perspective on teens and sleep. Like nutrition and physical activity, adequate sleep is vital to students’ health and well-being, and essential to learning. According to our survey results, 71% of middle and high school-aged students are getting less sleep on weekday nights than they need to perform at their best throughout the school day. This is in alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) findings, which report that nearly 73% of U.S. high-school students get less than the recommended amount of nighttime sleep.
Although the distractions of screen-based media — TV, tablets, smartphones — are frequently cited as popular villains and contributors to widespread sleep deficiencies, what we found is that the sheer length of the student “workday” is the principal factor.
Students put in an 11.5-hour workday on average, including school, school-related activities, and homework. And that’s before doing any household chores or other tasks. Given their various responsibilities, in general students have about 8.75 hours as the best-case scenario in…