Poor sleep and sleep habits in adolescence may raise health risks
|Author: Alexis Bigham|
Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014
Lack of quality sleep for adults may negatively impact heart health. Evidence now suggests that sleep problems during adolescence may increase health risks as well.
The research appeared Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"When most people think about cardiovascular risk factors and risk behaviors, they don't necessarily think of sleep," said Dr. Brian McCrindle, senior author and cardiologist at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario. "This study ... shows a clear association between sleep disturbance (in adolescents) and a greater likelihood of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese."
"These findings are important, given that sleep disturbance is highly prevalent in adolescence and that cardiovascular disease risk factors track from childhood into adulthood," noted Dr. Indra Narang, the lead study author and director of sleep medicine at SickKids.
The researchers examined data from the 2009/2010 school year for adolescents in the Niagara region of Ontario.
More than 4,000 ninth-grade students completed questionnaires asking about their sleep duration, quality, disturbances, snoring, daytime sleepiness and the use of any sleep medications during a period of one month. Their average age was 14.6.
The students also answered questions about their physical activity, time spent in front of a computer or television and nutrition.
Researchers studied participants' height, weight, waist circumference, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They adjusted for those with family history of cardiovascular disease, so they could be confident of the association found.
Participants slept, on average, 7.9 hours during the week and 9.4 hours on weekends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adolescents get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night.
Almost one in five reported their weeknight sleep as "fairly bad" or "bad." One in 10 said the same was true for their weekend sleep. In addition, almost 6% of respondents said they had used medications to help them sleep.
"What happens with these kids is they have very poor sleep habits and sleep hygiene, so they're sleepy and tired and have poor energy during the day, so they hop themselves up on caffeinated beverages and then that just perpetuates their problem and a lot of them wound up taking some kind of sleep medication," McCrindle said. "So they get in a cycle."
Narang said 6% was "quite a lot" of adolescents taking over-the-counter and prescription medication to help them sleep.
"It really shows that some adolescents are experiencing very disturbed sleep that they're then needing sleep medication," she said.
Common sleep disturbances reported by the adolescents included waking up during the night or early in the morning, not being able to fall asleep within a half-hour, feeling too hot or too cold, having to use the restroom and bad dreams.
Those who reported sleep disturbances more often consumed soft drinks, fried food, sweets and caffeine, the research showed. They also reported less physical activity and increased screen time. In addition, the adolescents with shorter sleep routines reported less physical activity and more screen time.
In the short term, poor sleep impairs daytime function.
"It can affect (your) learning, it can affect (your) memory," Narang added.
Parents concerned about their child's sleep can intervene in several ways.
McCrindle suggests trying to minimize media use in the bedroom.
"Do (the adolescents) really need to have a TV, a computer, all their video games in the bedroom?" he asked.
Instead, ensure kids have down time before bedtime.
Narang feels consumption of high-energy caffeine drinks may largely be to blame.
But the big picture, she says?
"Everybody involved in the health care of a child - a nurse, a physician, a teacher - needs to promote well sleep, and that would involve a certain number of hours a sleep and routine of sleep," Narang said.
The routine would keep them on the same sleep schedule all week long, she added.
- All Categories
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
December 5th - 6th
November 26th -November 30th
Forty parents, educators, counselors, and administrators came to Bowling Green November 5 to hear a leading authority on twice-exceptional education at the 2014 Twice-Exceptional (2e) Learners Seminar.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,