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									America's Sleep-Deprived Teens Nodding Off at School, Behind
the Wheel                         by/ National Sleep Foundation


The National  Sleep Foundation (NSF), according to its Web site, “is an independent
nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving
understanding of sleep and sleep disorders and by supporting sleep-related education,
research and advocacy.” The NSF periodically issues news releases on studies its
member physicians conduct. The following release, dated March 28, 2006, helped focus
national attention on the dangers of adolescent sleep debt.

Many of the nation's adolescents are falling asleep in class, arriving late to school, feeling
down and driving drowsy because of a lack of sleep that gets worse as they get older,
according to a new poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

In a national survey on the sleep patterns of U.S. adolescents (ages 11-17), NSF's 2006
Sleep in America poll finds that only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine
hours of sleep on school nights, and nearly one-half (45%) sleep less than eight hours on
school nights.

   What's more, the poll finds that parents are mostly in the dark about their adolescents'
sleep. While most students know they're not getting the sleep they need, 90% of parents
polled believe that their adolescent is getting enough sleep at least a few nights during the
school week.

   The poll indicates that the consequences of insufficient sleep affect nearly every
aspect of teenage life. Among the most important findings:

      At least once a week, more than one-quarter (28%) of high school students fall
       asleep in school, 22% fall asleep doing homework, and 14% arrive late or miss
       school because they oversleep.
      Adolescents who get insufficient amounts of sleep are more likely than their peers
       to get lower grades, while 80% of adolescents who get an optimal amount of sleep
       say they're achieving As and Bs in school.
      More than one-half (51%) of adolescent drivers have driven drowsy during the
       past year. In fact, 15% of drivers in 10th to 12th grades drive drowsy at least once
       a week.
      Among those adolescents who report being unhappy, tense and nervous, 73% feel
       they don't get enough sleep at night and 59% are excessively sleepy during the
       day.
      More than one-quarter (28%) of adolescents say they're too tired to exercise.

5 The poll also finds that the amount of sleep declines as adolescents get older. The
survey classifies nine or more hours a night as an optimal amount of sleep in line with
sleep experts' recommendations for this age group, with less than eight hours classified as
insufficient. Sixth-graders report they sleep an average of 8.4 hours on school nights,
while 12th- graders sleep just 6.9 hours - 1.5 hours less than their younger peers and two
hours less than recommended. In fact, by the time adolescents become high school
seniors, they're missing out on nearly 12 hours (11.7) of needed sleep each week.

   “This poll identifies a serious reduction in adolescents’ sleep as students transition
from middle school to high school. This is particularly troubling as adolescence is a
critical period of development and growth – academically, emotionally and physically,”
says Richard L. Gelula, NSF’s chief executive officer. “At a time of heightened concerns
about the quality of this next generation’s health and education, our nation is ignoring a
basic necessity for success in these areas: adequate sleep. We call on parents, educators
and teenagers themselves to take an active role in making sleep a priority.”

Awareness gap between parents and teens about sleep

While nine out of 10 parents state their adolescent is getting enough sleep at least a few
nights during the school week, more than one-half (56 %) of adolescents say they get less
sleep than they think they need to feel their best. And, 51 % say they feel too tired or
sleepy during the day.

   Also at issue is the quality of sleep once an adolescent goes to bed. Only 41 % of
adolescents say they get a good night’s sleep every night or most nights. One in 10 teens
reports that he/she rarely or never gets a good night’s sleep.

   Overall, 7 % of parents think their adolescent may have a sleep problem, whereas 16
% of adolescents think they have or may have one. Many adolescents (31 %) who think
they have a sleep problem have not told anyone about it.

Everyday pressures + nature = less sleep

10 As children reach adolescence, their circadian rhythms – or internal clocks – tend to
shift, causing teens to naturally feel more alert later at night and wake up later in the
morning. A trick of nature, this “phase delay” can make it difficult for them to fall asleep
before 11 p.m.; more than one-half (54 %) of high-school seniors go to bed at 11 p.m. or
later on school nights. However, the survey finds that on a typical school day, adolescents
wake up around 6:30 a.m. in order to go to school, leaving many without the sleep they
need.

   “In the competition between the natural tendency to stay up late and early school start
times, a teen’s sleep is what loses out,” notes Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., co-chair of the poll
task force and an NSF vice chair. “Sending students to school without enough sleep is
like sending them to school without breakfast. Sleep serves not only a restorative function
for adolescents’ bodies and brains, but it is also a key time when they process what
they’ve learned during the day.” Dr. Mindell is the director of the Graduate Program in
Psychology at Saint Joseph’s University and associate director of the Sleep Center at The
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
   It is also important for teens, like all people, to maintain a consistent sleep schedule
across the entire week. Poll respondents overwhelmingly go to bed and get up later and
sleep longer on non-school nights. However, teens rarely make up for the sleep that they
lose during the school week. Overall, adolescents get an average of 8.9 hours of sleep on
a non-school night, about equal to the optimal amount recommended per night. Again,
the poll finds this amount trends downward as adolescents get older.

   Survey results also show that sleepy adolescents are more likely to rely on naps, which
sleep experts point out should not be a substitute for, but rather complement, a good
night’s sleep. About one-third (31 %) of adolescents take naps regularly, and these
nappers are more likely than non-nappers to say they feel cranky or irritable, too tired
during the day, and fall asleep in school – all signs of insufficient sleep. And, their naps
average 1.2 hours, well beyond the 45-minute maximum recommended by sleep experts
so that naps do not interfere with nighttime sleep.

   “Irregular sleep patterns that include long naps and sleeping in on the weekend
negatively impact adolescents’ biological clocks and sleep quality -- which in turn affects
their abilities and mood,” says Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., who chairs the 2006 poll task
force. “This rollercoaster system should be minimized. When students’ schedules are
more consistent and provide for plenty of sleep, they are better prepared to take on their
busy days.” Dr. Carskadon is the director of the E.P. Bradley Hospital Sleep and
Chronobiology Research Lab at Brown University.

15 In terms of overall demographics, there are more similarities than differences
among adolescents’ responses to sleep-related questions. Boys and girls have similar
sleep patterns. In terms of racial/ethnic comparisons, African-American adolescents
report getting 7.2 hours of sleep on school nights, as compared to 7.6 hours reported by
Hispanic adolescents, 7.4 hours by other minorities and 7.7 hours by White adolescents.

Other factors affecting adolescent sleep

Caffeine plays a prominent role in the life of today’s adolescent. Three-quarters of those
polled drink at least one caffeinated beverage every day, and nearly one-third (31 %)
consume two or more such drinks each day. Adolescents who drink two or more
caffeinated beverages daily are more likely to get an insufficient amount of sleep on
school nights and think they have a sleep problem.

   Technology may also be encroaching on a good night’s sleep. The poll finds that
adolescents aren’t heeding expert advice to engage in relaxing activities in the hour
before bedtime or to keep the bedroom free from sleep distractions:

• Watching television is the most popular activity (76 %) for adolescents in the hour
before bedtime, while surfing the internet/instant-messaging (44 %) and talking on the
phone (40 %) are close behind.
• Boys are more likely than girls to play electronic video games (40 % vs. 12 %) and/or
exercise (37 % vs. 27 %) in the hour prior to bedtime; girls are more likely than boys to
talk on the phone (51 % vs. 29 %) and/or do homework/study (70 % vs. 60 %) in that
time.
• Nearly all adolescents (97%) have at least one electronic item – such as a television,
computer, phone or music device – in their bedroom. On average, 6th-graders have more
than two of these items in their bedroom, while 12th-graders have about four.
• Adolescents with four or more such items in their bedrooms are much more likely than
their peers to get an insufficient amounts of sleep at night and almost twice as likely to
fall asleep in school and while doing homework.

*Tips for Te e n s
1. Sleep is food for the brain. Lack of sleep can make you
look tired and feel depressed, irritable or angry. Even
mild sleepiness can hurt your performance — from taking
school exams to playing sports or video games. Learn
how much sleep you need to function at your best —
most adolescents need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of
sleep each night — and strive to get it every night. You
should awaken refreshed, not tired.
2. Keep consistency in mind: establish a regular bedtime and
waketime schedule, and maintain this schedule during
weekends and school (or work) vacations. Don’t stray from
your schedule frequently, and never do so for two or more
consecutive nights. If you must go off schedule, avoid
delaying your bedtime by more than one hour. Awaken
the next day within two hours of your regular schedule,
and, if you are sleepy during the day, take an early afternoon
nap.
3. Get into bright light as soon as possible in the morning,
but avoid it in the evening. The light helps to signal to the
b r a i n when it should wake up and when it should prepare
to sleep.
4. Understand your circadian rhythms. Then you can try to
maximize your schedule throughout the day according to
your internal clock. For example, to compensate for your
―slump (sleepy) times,‖ participate in stimulating activities
or classes that are interactive. Try to avoid lecture classes
and potentially unsafe activities, including driving.
5. After lunch (or after noon), stay away from caffeinated
coffee and colas as well as nicotine, which are all stimulants.
Also avoid alcohol, which disrupts sleep.
6. Relax before going to bed. Avoid heavy reading, studying
and computer games within one hour of going to bed. Don’t fall asleep with the television
on — flickering lightand stimulating content can inhibit restful sleep.

   “Many teens have a technological playground in their bedrooms that offers a variety
of ways to stay stimulated and delay sleep. Ramping down from the day’s activities with
a warm bath and a good book are much better ways to transition to bedtime,” notes Dr.
Carskadon. “The brain learns when it’s time to sleep from the lessons it receives. Teens
need to give the brain better signals about when nighttime starts … turning off the lights
– computer screens and TV, too – is the very best signal.”

*Become a sleep-smart trendsetter

Be a bed head, not a
dead head. Understand t h e
dangers of insufficient sleep –
and avoid them! Encourage
your friends to do the same.
Ask others how much sleep
they’ve had lately before you
let them drive you somewhere.
Remember: friends don’t let
friends drive drowsy.

Brag about your bedtime.
Tell your friends how good
you feel after getting more
than 8 hours of sleep!

Do you study with a buddy?
If you’re getting together after
school, tell your pal you need
to catch a nap first, or take a
nap break if needed. (Taking a
nap in the evening may make
it harder for you to sleep at
night, however.)

Steer clear of raves and
say no to all-nighters.
Staying up late can cause chaos
in your sleep patterns and your
ability to be alert the next day. . .
and beyond. R e m e m b e r, the
best thing you can do to prepare
for a test is to get plenty of
s l e e p . All nighters or late-night
study sessions might seem to
give you more time to cram for
your exam, but they are also

likely to drain your brainpower.

How parents can help teens get more sleep

Dr. Mindell notes that “the poll data suggest that parents may be missing red flags that
their teenager is not getting the sleep that he or she desperately needs. Simply asking
teens if they get enough sleep to feel their best is a good way for parents to begin a
valuable conversation about sleep’s importance.”

20   Some warning signs that your child may not be getting the sleep he/she needs:

• Do you have to wake your child for school? And, is it difficult to do so?
• Has a teacher mentioned that your child is sleepy or tired during the day?
• Do you find your child falling asleep while doing homework?
• Is your child sleeping two hours later or more on weekends than on school nights?
• Is your child’s behavior different on days that he/she gets a good night’s sleep vs. days
that he/she doesn’t?
• Does he/she rely on a caffeinated drink in the morning to wake up? And/or drink two or
more caffeinated drinks a day?
• Does he/she routinely nap for more than 45 minutes?

   Parents can play a key role in helping their adolescents develop and maintain healthy
sleep habits. In general, it is important for parents and adolescents to talk about sleep –
including the natural phase delay – and learn more about good sleep habits in order to
manage teens’ busy schedules. What’s more, teens often mirror their parents’ habits, so
adults are encouraged to be good role models by getting a full night’s sleep themselves.
And, NSF and the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute offer these ways to make it easier for
an adolescent to get more sleep and a better night’s sleep:

• Set a consistent bedtime and wake-time (even on weekends) that allows for the
recommended nine or more hours of sleep every night.
• Have a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading for fun or taking a warm bath or
shower.
• Keep the bedroom comfortable, dark, cool and quiet.
• Get into bright light as soon as possible in the morning, but avoid it in the evening.
• Create a sleep-friendly environment by removing TVs and other distractions from the
bedroom and setting limits on usage before bedtime.
• Avoid caffeine after lunchtime.

   NSF released the poll findings as part of its 9th annual National Sleep Awareness
Week® campaign, held March 27-April 2, 2006. For more sleep tips for parents and
adolescents, as well as the Summary of Findings for the 2006 Sleep in America poll, visit
NSF’s website at www.sleepfoundation.org.

Methodology The 2006 Sleep in America poll was conducted for the National Sleep
Foundation by WB&A Market Research. Telephone interviews were conducted between
Sept. 19 and Nov. 29, 2005, with a targeted random sample of 1,602 caregivers and,
separately, their adolescent children ages 11-17 in grades 6-12. Using the targeted
random sample, quotas were established by grade and race/ethnicity, with minority
respondents being over sampled to reflect equal proportions of respondents by grade, as
well as the actual distribution of race/ethnicity based on the U.S. census. The poll’s
margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 %; the response rate for the survey was 27 %.
I need help in summarizing the article above in a one fully
page (1&1/4 max). The paper must be in size 12 font,
Times New Roman, double-spaced, and one inch margins
all around.

The due date is today Thursday, Sept., 29th before 11:59
PM. Please follow the guidelines for writing summaries in
the Summary Guide I attached.

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