American Adolescents’ Sleeping Habits and Factors

Rollercoaster sleep

The term “rollercoaster” sleep is used to describe irregular sleep patterns of many teenagers. For instance, some of them tend to sleep long hours or have long naps on the week-ends (National Sleep Foundation 485). Yet, they do not have the same amount of sleep during other days of the week. In fact, some students sleep less than nine or even seven hours on their school nights and very often feel very drowsy during lessons. Overall, this habit is not usually beneficial for a person, because it is difficult for him or her to be prepared for busy days when it is necessary to wake up at a certain time, usually early in the morning (National Sleep Foundation 485). As a rule, these people feel very exhausted in school, and they cannot focus on learning activities.

Moreover, they tend to feel nervous or depressed. Overall, people should not assume that long hours of sleep on week-ends can compensate for the sleep deprivation that they experience during business days. This assumption is utterly flawed because sleep habits require some regularity. Researchers believe that people’s sleeping habits should be consistent, in other words, they need to develop a regular waketime and bedtime schedule (National Sleep Foundation 486). A person should train oneself to wake or go to bed at a certain time. Moreover, he or she should not stray away from this schedule (National Sleep Foundation 486). The main rationale for keeping to this regular schedule is that a teenager will be able to suffer from sleep deprivation on those days when he/she has to wake up early in the morning. Moreover, in this way, they can become more productive during lessons. The task of parents is to warn their children about the dangers of “rollercoaster” sleep and urge them to have a regular bedtime.

The effect of consumer electronics on adolescent sleep

Consumer electronics usually negatively affects the sleeping habits of adolescents. An increasing number of students like those entertainments that involve the use of various multi-media technologies. For instance, more 70 percent of students prefer to watch television before bedtime (National Sleep Foundation 485). A large percentage of students prefer to play surf the Internet or send messages to their friends. Furthermore, many teenagers, mostly boys play video games in the evening (National Sleep Foundation 485). Certainly, these activities can be very interesting, but one cannot say that they are more important than sleep. Unfortunately, many parents do not pay much attention to the role that consumer electronics plays in the lives of their children. Adolescents usually have at least one electronic item in their bedrooms, for instance, one can mention such devices as computers, smart phones, or television. On the whole, these technologies provide an extra stimulus for teenagers to stay awake.

According to research findings, those adolescents, who have several electronic items in their bedrooms, are more likely to stay awake at night and eventually suffer from sleep deprivation (National Sleep Foundation 485). In the majority of cases, they tend to delay their bedtime. Therefore, parents should make sure that their children can make a transition to bedtime. In such circumstances, a bath or a good book can be more beneficial for the transition to sleep. The main issue is to make sure that various electronic devices do not prevent a child from having a sufficient amount of sleep, preferably nine hours. As it has been said in this article, a great number of teenagers have “technological playgrounds” and it is difficult for them to reject the appeal of these technologies. Thus, parents should remember that consumer electronics usually negatively affects the sleep of adolescents. Certainly, there is no need to prohibit a teenager to use these technologies, but the access to them should be restricted especially at the time, when an adolescent is going to bed. This is the main precaution that parents should take.

Summary of the article

This article focuses on sleeping habits of American adolescents. To some degree, it is aimed at raising people’s awareness about this problem. In particular, it shows that many teenagers do not have the necessary nine hours of sleep. In fact, many of them experience severe sleep deprivation. As a result, they have to face such problems as attention deficit, nervousness or depression. In many cases, their academic performance declines (National Sleep Foundation 483). Many of them tend to drive while being drowsy. One of the main problems is that many parents do not know about the problems that their children have (National Sleep Foundation 483). For example, they may not realize the importance of sleep and the possible effects of sleep deprivation.

These people may not see that the lack of concentration or poor grades of their children could have been caused by their sleeping habits. This is one of the main issues emphasized by the author. This article also addresses such an issue as irregular sleep patterns of many people and their willingness to sleep in during the week-ends (National Sleep Foundation 485). Moreover, it describes the reasons why some adolescents do not have the necessary amount of sleep. The use of consumer electronic is believed to prevent teenagers from having necessary nine hours of sleep. Additionally, the author points out that the internal clock of adolescents tend to shift, and these people are more likely to feel more active in the evening (National Sleep Foundation 484). Finally, the article gives many recommendations on how parents can improve the sleeping habits of their children. They have to set an example for their children and demonstrate that it is necessary to keep a regular bedtime schedule. These are the key issues discussed in this article.

Works Cited

National Sleep Foundation. America’s Sleep-Deprived Teens Nodding Off at School, the Wheel, 483-489. Print.