If you needed any more reason to take that extra nap in the afternoon, science is on your side. A new study was published showing that teenagers whose sleep patterns are better, have a healthier lifestyle and a sounder judgment than those who don’t.
This study was released in three stages between 1994 and 2002, showing data collected after analyzing more than 6,500 teenagers from the United States. The main aspects that were surveyed were sleep patterns, substance abuse and alcohol use. It was already confirmed that bad sleep was somehow connected to drug or alcohol issues, but the new survey wanted to find a more definite definition of the rapport.
Sleep patterns did not necessarily mean insomnia, but teens reporting having trouble falling asleep. Those who mentioned that one night per week they had trouble were soon connected with consequences such as predisposition to risky sexual behavior, excessive drinking or drugs.
Sleep trouble and risky behavior go hand in hand. A report of poor sleep every night of the week was associated with 33 per cent more susceptibility to the aforementioned behavior. The fewer the hours of sleep, the more dangerous the behavior could get.
What was the difference in the teenagers sleeping more hours each night? The study showed that each extra hour of sleep added to the protection against destructive behavior, and decreased the tendency of making bad decisions. So now you can show your parents scientific proof that sleeping in is actually keeping you off the streets!
The chief leader of the study was Professor Maria Wong, from Idaho State University. Her conclusions change the way a parent should treat their children’s sleep behavior. She encourages parents to realize how important sleep is, helping to prevent risky behavior later in life.
What can you do, as a parent? You can have a firm word about when it’s time to go to bed, instead of letting them decide on their own. Ask them about how they sleep, not just about school or their friends. Sleep patterns are easier to spot if the parent is more involved in their teen’s behavior. And if trouble arises, early help is always more efficient.
What’s a sure way to sleep faster? Put down any electronic devices at least one hour going to bed. Science also shows that blue light affects our sleep patterns and make them more restless. Less late night texting and more reading something before bed should do the trick.
Image Source: KOMU
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