ERIC Number: ED454291
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
What Research Says about Teenagers and Sleep. Research Watch. E&R Report.
In the past few years, new scientific research has addressed the sleep needs and patterns of teenagers. Research indicates that teenagers require approximately the same amount of sleep as younger children, and their optimal sleep cycles apparently begin later at night than those of younger children. There is clinical evidence suggesting that adolescents' need for sleep is similar to, or greater than, that of younger children, but other changes that occur in adolescence also affect sleep. Teenagers who are aroused from sleep early may still have elevated levels of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep, and those who try to go to bed early may not be able to sleep, as melatonin levels indicate that their bodies are still fully awake. The indication is that social norms and expectations for teenagers work in direct opposition to the needs of their bodies. Teenagers are experiencing a change toward setting their own bedtimes at a time when homework or other interest combine with natural tendencies to keep them awake at night. Many teenagers are chronically sleep deprived, and the emotional changes of the teen years may be exacerbated by sleep deprivation. Research, while still in progress, has begun to link a lack of sleep with specific impacts on the emotional, intellectual, and social lives of teens. (Contains 21 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wake County Public School System, Raleigh, NC. Dept. of Evaluation and Research.