Sleepless nights can leave their mark on teens' report cards, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine analysed 238 surveys filled out by middle-school and high-school students. The findings showed that students with lower grade point averages (GPA) were more likely to have: restless, aching legs when they were trying to fall asleep; difficulty concentrating during the day; snoring every night; difficulty waking up in the morning; daytime sleepiness; and problems with falling asleep in class.
The study was published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
"While a series of previously-conducted studies all found that adolescents reporting inadequate sleep, irregular sleep patterns, and/or poor sleep quality do not perform as well in school as students without sleep complaints, this study provides additional evidence indicating that sleep disturbances occur at high frequencies in adolescents and significantly affect daytime performance, as measured by GPA," study author Dr James F. Pagel said in a prepared statement.
Tell your doctor
He said it's important for parents to discuss their teen's sleep-related problems with a doctor.
Here are some sleep tips for teens, courtesy of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:
- Get a full night's sleep on a regular basis. Don't stay up late doing homework or studying for an exam.
- If you're not asleep within 20 minutes after going to bed, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or listening to music, until you're tired enough to go back to bed.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
- Try not to take naps after school. If you feel you have to, don't nap for more than an hour.
- Keep a regular schedule.
- Don't read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone or play cards in bed.
- Don't have any caffeine after lunch.
- Your bedroom should be quiet, dark and a bit cool.
- Don't go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal just before bedtime.
- Don't do any vigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.