A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on the sleep habits of more than 15,000 high school students ages 13-18 in 30 showed that 72.7% of them sleep less than the recommended 8-10 hours on school nights, with six percent sleeping less than four hours. The report is published in the January 26, 2018 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The complete report is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6703a1.htm?s_cid=mm6703a1_w

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 According to the CDC study, insufficient sleep during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and contributes to poor mental health. It also increases the risk of injuries, attention and behavioral problems and poor academic performance.

Although we’re not aware of what is happening in the body during sleep, much is. It’s during sleep that tissue growth and repair occurs, muscle blood flow increases, memory consolidation takes place, and hormones regulating growth and appetite are released.  (National Sleep Foundation, 2018) Sufficient sleep is an integral component of a healthy lifestyle. Developing healthy sleep habits when young can carry over into adulthood and make a difference in overall health as one grows older.

To that end, the CDC suggests the following to support good sleep hygiene:

1. Establish and maintain a consistent sleep schedule during the week and on weekends.
2. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning
3. Establish a bedtime ritual to wind down from the day and relax.
4. Limit exposure to computer, cell phone and TV light in the evening as these types of light affect sleep. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
5. Keep the bedroom dark, quiet and at a cooler temperature.
6. Avoid eating a meal, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol within before bed.

For more information:

National Sleep Foundation
What happens when you sleep
https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep

Johns Hopkins
Healthy Sleep
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-science/the-science-of-sleep-understanding-what-happens-when-you-sleep