Recent research reveals that teens who either don’t sleep enough or have poor quality sleep may be at risk for high blood pressure that could eventually put them at risk for heart disease in adulthood. The study, just published in the Journal, Circulation, took a look at 238 healthy 13-16 year olds (123 boys, 115 girls) who were not suffering with sleep apnea or any other severe breathing problems. The researchers noted that the shorter the amount of sleep time and the poorer the quality of sleep the higher the risk for hypertension. And specifically noted was the fact that the more technology in the bedroom – music players, phones, computers and TVs – the more likely their will be these sleep deficiencies. The study was able to monitor their sleep hours and patterns by using movement detectors that the teens wore on their wrists. Sleep quality monitoring was done in a sleep lab. Some things the researchers found included: · The less sleep per night, the less sleep efficiency/quality as well. Participants who had less than 85% sleep efficiency, had nearly 3 times the odds of having pre-hypertension · Gender, BMI and socio-economic status had no bearing on the outcome. Sleeping less than 6.5 hours/night meant a 3.5 times increased risk for higher blood pressure Since the teen years are a time period filled with “mom and dad- choose your battles wisely,” knowing that sleep is crucial to your teens health might put sleep habits at the top of your discussion/implementation list.
I can tell you that having my kids in after school sports definitely helped to tire them out and have them a bit more compliant with their sleep schedules. We forget that conventional wisdom and studies show that teens actually need about 9 hours of sleep per night, especially during growth spurt periods. And pediatricians, who tend to be the objective more tolerated adult voice (by teens) should make sleep an integral discussion point during pediatric and teen office visits.
If you are going to "pick and choose" your discussions and battle - the 2 Ss - Sleep and Sex - need to be at the top of the list!!
Published On: August 27, 2008