Today Show: Adolescents & Sleep
Matt Lauer sat down with Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Maimonides Medical Center in New York City to talk about the poor sleeping habits of teenagers. Dr. Laraque-Arena said that teenagers are hard to wake up in the morning, which can have a lot of adverse effects, including poor academic performance, depression, higher risk for obesity, and greater likelihood to be involved in motor vehicle crashes.
Adolescents are going through a lot of physiological changes, which cause them to sleep later. She said that if there aren’t adjustments to the start time for school, it’s going to be a growing problem.
Today: Should Schools Start Later?
Dr. Laraque-Arena said she and the American Academy of Pediatrics support schools starting later. The research indicates that teens need eight to nine hours of sleep, but they have to wake up early. They often don’t get the sleep they need. One of the possible solutions is to have schools start later.
Today Show: Why Do Schools Start When They Do?
Matt Lauer said that the start time isn’t random; schools consider a lot of factors to choose their start time. Dr. Laraque-Arena said that’s true and this will take a lot of conversations about how to foster safe environments for our kids.
Today: What’s Keeping Kids Awake?
There’s also an issue for what’s keeping teenagers awake, which is a similar list to what keeps adults awake. It’s a list that (mostly) wouldn’t have existed 20 years ago. People are kept awake by electronic devices like phones and iPads, social media use, and the age-old standard of caffeine.
Today Show: Can You Catch Up On Sleep Over The Weekend?
Can you catch up with your sleep on the weekend? Can teens? Dr. Laraque-Arena said they can do that, but it doesn’t make up the loss completely. It’s important to make sure you get the amount you need every single night.