Parents should be aware of their children’s sleeping habits. They can do this by observing how their children appear in the morning and how they go about their activities during the day.
If they seem tired always, don’t eat as much as they should and they look unhealthy, it might be that they lack sleep. They may not also be taking a bath regularly. What could the reason be?
US scientists have made a study on why some kids in their teen age years are suffering from poor sleeping habits. The reasons given based on their research were due to drinking problems, using illegal drugs, and having “regretful” sexual relationship.
Lack of sleep is one of the reasons of poor judgment, according other researches.
(This might the cause why they have poor grades in school.)
“Most of the time we don’t think sleep is important but our results show sleep is a good marker of some serious later problems”
Scientists studied the records of over 6,500 young adults in the USA. The research is found in the Journal of Alcoholism.
What they did was to monitor sleep patterns, alcohol and drug dependence by taking a nationwide survey startling up to 2002 in three separate occasions.
When volunteers were asked why they find it difficult experiencing sound sleep, the response were mostly having to do with drug and alcohol problems. That was the initial result.
However researchers did not stop there, they dug deeper and wanted to know if what was happening now will have an effect on their life in the future.
The effect was that binge drinking teenagers have trouble sleeping at least once a week, including those having sex when they are drunk or high with drugs which they regretted later in life.
The stronger the link the worse is the sleep problem. It was reported that those with more serious problems find it 33% more difficult sleeping
The fewer hours they sleep, the bigger the chances they will encounter a lot problems which include their relationship with others brought about by drinking problems, researchers say.
However an additional hour of sleep may bring some respite, with each hour bringing less chances of binge drinking.
Prof Maria Wong from Idaho State University, the leader of the research, told the BBC: “Most of the time we don’t think sleep is important. But our results show sleep is a good marker of some serious later problems.
“A lot of parents don’t monitor their adolescents’ sleep schedules and let them make their own decisions about when to go to bed.
“But parents need to start talking to their teenagers, not just about grades and extra-curricular activities but about sleep too. And they must get help if needed.”
Independent sleep researcher Dr Neil Stanley, said: “Even without a medical condition such as insomnia, many teenagers get less sleep than they need each night just because life – computers etc. – getting in the way.
“But this study builds on previous research that shows a lack of sleep can seriously impair judgment.
“And this is particularly important for adolescents who are more prone to risk taking and willing to experiments with alcohol and drugs.”