Lewis R. Mollica
Now there is a headline to grab your attention if you are a parent. We are aware, or should be, that food is food for the brain. Sleep is critical to our well-being. Lack of appropriate sleep impacts both your body and mind in a negative way. Our thinking becomes cloudy, alertness declines, as well as our coordination and the ability to make decisions.
According to KNOW, for youth, insufficient sleep is additionally shown to be associated with a variety of health-risk behaviors, including drug and alcohol use. Lela McKnight-Eily, a lead researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Sleep-deprived students have a higher propensity toward risky behaviors due to a decreased ability to comprehend the consequences of negative behaviors, as well as an increased receptiveness to peer pressure.”
Why are teens so sleep deprived? KNOW points out the obvious. Among school, homework, sports and other extra-curricular activities, it is no wonder getting enough sleep is such a challenge. Add the fact that during adolescence, the body’s natural sleep cycle shifts to keep children up later at night and in bed later in the morning.
So what should a parent do? The first step is to figure out how much sleep your child requires. The second is to figure out how to make your child get the required sleep.
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