Teens sleepiness has become a public health issue - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teens sleepiness has become a public health issue

Amarillo, TX - According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 87% of the nation's teens do not get enough sleep.

Researchers found this alarming because it's crucial for teens to do well in high school.

Not having enough sleep can cause them to be depressed, obese or driving drowsy causing more accidents. "They discovered that after puberty our natural clock changes and so we are more likely to be up later and wake up later," says a local pediatrician Mariada George. "A lot of my teens don't get enough sleep, but then they tell me that they have this practice and that practice and that they have this much homework."

Over the past twenty years societies expectations have changed. "Stuff start earlier, when I went to school you wouldn't have to get their earlier, you would just do it (extra curricular activities) during school or after school sometimes but now it's so much time and you have to have so many classes," says Frank White, grandparent.

Research shows teens stay awake longer because they are involved in more extra curricular activities, they have more responsibilities outside of school and electronics that can keep a teen entertained for hours. "Parents should be taking up their electronics, all electronics should be in the parents room at night and giving them no way to use those electronics so that way the parent is in control," says Angela Foster, mother.

And pediatricians agree, they say it's best not to have any electronics in a teenagers bedroom when it's bed time. And as far as extra curricular activities Foster also says what worked for her was to keep track of the load her teens carried. "I had to govern that, I can't let them choose to be in everything and I can't let that be the guarding format for our home."

Teens should work on going to sleep early, two weeks before school starts to figure out what helps them unwind and get at least 8.5- 9.5 hours of sleep.

Here are some sleep tips:

*Adjust bedtime by 15 minutes per night

*Unplug from all electronics one hour before bedtime.

*Talk to your teen about the health risk of not having enough sleep

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