Adolescent Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

1456 words 6 pages
Adolescent Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Effects, and Prevention
Adolescent sleep deprivation is a common problem in today’s society, and it is also a very dangerous one. There have been numerous studies done to determine the causes of sleep deprivation in teenagers, the most prevalent being teens not getting enough sleep due to things like jobs and early school start times. There are many perceived dangers of this, such as sleepiness while driving and a risk for hypertension. There are a few ways to prevent these problems, ranging from parents stepping in to ensure teens get the proper amount of sleep to changing school start times to a later hour. Adolescent sleep deprivation is something that everyone, parents and teens alike, should
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One school district changed their school start times to a later hour, and studies were done to determine if that had a positive or negative effect on the number of teen involved vehicle crashes in that school district compared to others across the country. The results were astounding. Based on 1,000 drivers ages 17 and 18:
The average crash rates in the 2 years after the change in school start times […] reflect a significant decrease of 16.5% in the study county, whereas there was a significant increase of 7.8% in the same time period in the rest of the state (as cited in Danner & Phillips, pp. 526-527)
This study shows that because teens are deprived of sleep, they are more likely to get into an accident behind the wheel of a car. The dangers of adolescent sleep deprivation do not just effect teens, but the world around them also.
Preventing sleep deprivation in adolescents is a difficult, though not impossible, task and requires action not only from the teen, but from their parents and school districts also. Carskadon suggested that, in order to prevent sleep deprivation, parents step in and assist in making sure that their children get the proper amount of sleep (as cited in Brody, 2011). In addition to making sure that teens understand the importance of sleep, she says that parents should set an acceptable “bedtime” for their children as well as setting up a “bedtime” routine. (as cited

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