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New Poll Shows Sleeping Problems Are Becoming More Common In Teens

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A man browsing his phone before bed. A recent poll revealed that a significant number of teenagers are having trouble sleeping due to various reasons including social media use or school activities. Teens need nine hours of sleep every night.   ( Krzysztof Kamil | Pixabay )

A recent poll found that almost half of the parents said that their children aged 13-18 do not get enough sleep every night.

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health surveyed 2,000 parents asking whether their teenage children experience any sleep problems, and what they do to address it.

Teens Cannot Sleep

An astounding 43 percent of the parents surveyed for the study admitted that their teenage children have trouble falling asleep, waking up in the morning, or unable to fall back to sleep. About 25 percent of that number said that their children had occasional (1-2 times a week) problem sleeping while 18 percent experience sleeping problems frequently (3 or more nights per week).

Majority of parents believe that electronics use, especially at night, contribute to the problem. About 56 percent of parents said that their children refuse to log off of social media or turn off their phones and, therefore, have an irregular sleeping pattern.

Meanwhile, 43 percent believe that their teens do not get enough sleep because of homework and other school activities. About 31 percent of parents think that their children worry about school while 23 percent worry about their social lives.

Only 10 percent of parents said that their children had other health condition or take medication that interferes with their sleep cycles.

"What parents are sharing with us is that the 'normal life' of a typical American high schooler is interfering with sleep," stated Sarah Clarke, co-director of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Parents also shared their own ways to deal with their children's odd sleeping pattern. Majority of the parents limit their children's consumption of caffeine (54 percent), use of electronic devices especially in bed (53 percent), or having a snack at night (44 percent). About 36 percent of respondents use natural or herbal remedies, specifically melatonin, to help their children go to sleep.

Around one-quarter of respondents admitted that the teenagers use over-the-counter sleep medicine (16 percent), antihistamine (14 percent), and prescription sleep medicine (5 percent).

Effects Of Not Getting Enough Sleep

According to the Nationwide Children's Organization, teenagers only get seven hours of sleep every night. However, according to studies, children aged 13 and up need about nine hours of sleep every night.

People who do not get enough sleep can experience mood swings including irritability and crankiness. Sleep deprivation is also linked to poor cognitive performance that leads to lower grades in school.

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