Stony Brook Medicine study: Teens need sleep to function properly and make healthy food choices

21 Jun

 

The goal of this society should be to raise healthy and happy children who will grow into concerned and involved adults who care about their fellow citizens and environment. In order to accomplish this goal, all children must receive a good basic education and in order to achieve that goal, children must arrive at school, ready to learn. One of the mantras of this blog is there should not be a one size fits all approach to education and that there should be a variety of options to achieve the goal of a good basic education for all children.

The University of Illinois Extension has some good advice for helping children with study habits. In Study Habits and Homework he University of Illinois recommends:

 

Parents can certainly play a major role in providing the encouragement, environment, and materials necessary for successful studying to take place.

Some general things adults can do, include:

  • Establish a routine for meals, bedtime and study/homework

  • Provide books, supplies, and a special place for studying

  • Encourage the child to “ready” himself for studying (refocus attention and relax)

  • Offer to study with the child periodically (call out spelling words or do flash cards)

 

Some folks claim they need as few as four hours of sleep. For most folks that is not healthy and it definitely isn’t healthy for children.

 

One study linked obesity in children to lack of sleep. Reuters reported in Too Little Sleep Raises Obesity Risk In Children

 

Children aged four and under who get less than 10 hours of sleep a night are nearly twice as likely to be overweight or obese five years later, according to a U.S. study.

 

Researchers from the University of California and University of Washington in Seattle looked at the relationship between sleep and weight in 1,930 children aged 0 to 13 years old who took part in a survey in 1997 and again five years later in 2002.

For children who were four years old or younger at the time of the first survey, sleeping for less than 10 hours a night was associated with nearly a twofold increased risk of being overweight or obese at the second survey.

For older children, sleep time at the first survey was not associated with weight status at the second survey but current short sleep time was associated with increased odds of a shift from normal weight to overweight status or from overweight or obese status at follow up. Dr. Janice F. Bell from the University of Washington said this study suggested that early childhood could be a “critical window” when nighttime sleep helps determine a child’s future weight status. According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers aged one to three years old should sleep for 12 to 14 hours a night; preschoolers, aged 3 to 5 years old, should sleep 11 to 13 hours, and 5- to 10-year-olds should get 10 to 11 hours. Teens should get 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep nightly.

Several studies have linked short sleep to excess weight in children and teens, Bell and fellow researcher Dr. Frederick Zimmerman from the University of California noted in their report.

But many of these studies have been cross-sectional, meaning they looked at a single point in time, which makes it difficult to determine whether not getting adequate sleep caused a child to become obese, or vice versa.

These findings, said the researchers, suggest there is a critical time period prior to age five when adequate nightly sleep may be important in terms of a healthy weight later on.

 

Children need proper nutrition and sleep not only to be healthy and happy, but to be ready to learn.

 

Science Daily reported about teens need for sleep in the article, Study Reveals Link Between Sleep Deprivation in Teens and Poor Dietary Choices:

 

 

Well-rested teenagers tend to make more healthful food choices than their sleep-deprived peers, according to a study led by Lauren Hale, PhD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The finding, presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, may be key to understanding the link between sleep and obesity….

 

The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a national representative sample of 13,284 teenagers in the second wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The data were collected in 1996 when the interview subjects had a mean age of 16 years.

 

The authors found that those teens who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours per night — 18 percent of respondents — were more likely to consume fast food two or more times per week and less likely to eat healthful food such as fruits and vegetables. The results took into account factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity and family structure, and found that short sleep duration had an independent effect on both healthy and unhealthy food choices.

 

The respondents fell into one of three categories: short sleepers, who received fewer than seven hours per night; mid-range sleepers, who had seven to eight hours per night; and recommended sleepers, who received more than eight hours per night. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that adolescents get between nine and 10 hours of sleep per night. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620162746.htm#.UcN9_iGkjBA.email

 

Here is the press release from Stony Brook Medicine:

 

 

Research based on data from interviews with 13,284 adolescents nationwide

 

STONY BROOK, NY, June 20, 2013 – Well-rested teenagers tend to make more healthful food choices than their sleep-deprived peers, according to a study led by Lauren Hale, PhD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The finding, presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, may be key to understanding the link between sleep and obesity. 

 

Not only do sleepy teens on average eat more food that’s bad for them, they also eat less food that is good for them,” said Dr. Hale, speaking about the study results. “While we already know that sleep duration is associated with a range of health consequences, this study speaks to some of the mechanisms, i.e., nutrition and decision making, through which health outcomes are affected.” 

 

The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a national representative sample of 13,284 teenagers in the second wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The data were collected in 1996 when the interview subjects had a mean age of 16 years. 

 

The authors found that those teens who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours per night — 18 percent of respondents — were more likely to consume fast food two or more times per week and less likely to eat healthful food such as fruits and vegetables. The results took into account factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity and family structure, and found that short sleep duration had an independent effect on both healthy and unhealthy food choices. 

 

The respondents fell into one of three categories: short sleepers, who received fewer than seven hours per night; mid-range sleepers, who had seven to eight hours per night; and recommended sleepers, who received more than eight hours per night. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that adolescents get between nine and 10 hours of sleep per night. 

 

We are interested in the association between sleep duration and food choices in teenagers because adolescence is a critical developmental period between childhood and adulthood,” said the first author of the study, Allison Kruger, MPH, a community health worker at Stony Brook University Hospital. “Teenagers have a fair amount of control over their food and sleep, and the habits they form in adolescence can strongly impact their habits as adults.” 

 

The research team — which included co-authors Eric N. Reither, PhD, Utah State University; Patrick Krueger, PhD, University of Colorado at Denver; and Paul E. Peppard, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison — concluded that addressing sleep deficiency may be a novel and effective way to improve obesity prevention and health promotion interventions. 

 

Dr. Hale said that one of the next steps in the research will be to explore whether the association between sleep duration and food choices is causal. 

 

If we determine that there is a causal link between chronic sleep and poor dietary choices, then we need to start thinking about how to more actively incorporate sleep hygiene education into obesity prevention and health promotion interventions,” she said. 

 

Citation:

 

 

Stony Brook Medicine (2013, June 20). Sleep deprivation in teens linked to poor dietary choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 21, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/06/130620162746.htm#.UcN9_iGkjBA.email

 

 

Lauran Neergaard, AP medical writer wrote about a teen sleep study which was reprinted at Boston.Com. In Study: Lack of Early Light Upsets Teen Clock

 

 

Sit by the window in school? Lack of the right light each morning to reset the body’s natural sleep clock might play a role in teenagers’ out-of-whack sleep, a small but provocative school experiment suggests.

 

Specialists say too few teens get the recommended nine hours of shut-eye a night. They’re often unable to fall asleep until late and struggle to awaken for early classes. Sleep patterns start changing in adolescence for numerous reasons, including hormonal changes and more school, work and social demands….

 

From waking until school ended, 11 students donned special orange goggles that block short-wavelength “blue light,” but not other wavelengths necessary for proper vision. Blocking that light for five days upset the students’ internal body clocks – delaying by half an hour their evening surge of a hormone called melatonin that helps induce sleep, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers reported Tuesday.

 

Teens who trudge to the bus stop before dawn or spend their days in mostly windowless schools probably suffer the same effect, as daylight is the best source of those short-wavelength rays, said lead researcher Mariana Figueiro of Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center in Troy, N.Y.

 

“If you have this morning light, that is a benefit to the teenagers,” Figueiro said.

 

If children do not receive the appropriate amount of sleep, they will not be ready to learn when they arrive at school.

 

Why Do Teens Need Sleep?

 

The National Sleep Foundation has a Teens and Sleep Fact Sheet:

 

Sleep is vital to your well-being, as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. It can even help you to eat better and manage the stress of being a teen.

 

  • Biological sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence — meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00 pm.

  • Teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to function best (for some, 8 1/2 hours is enough). Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.

  • Teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns across the week — they typically stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends, which can affect their biological clocks and hurt the quality of their sleep.

  • Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.

 

CONSEQUENCES:

 

Not getting enough sleep or having sleep difficulties can:

 

  • Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life;

  • Make you more prone to pimples. Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and other skin problems;

  • Lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior such as yelling at your friends or being impatient with your teachers or family members;

  • Cause you to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain;

  • Heighten the effects of alcohol and possibly increase use of caffeine and nicotine; and

  • Contribute to illness, not using equipment safely or driving drowsy.

 

Parents should be alert to signs of sleep deprivation in their children.

 

How Can You Help Your Teen Get Enough Sleep?

 

The National Sleep Foundation has the following suggestions for improving sleep

 

Make sleep a priority. Review Teen Time in this toolkit and keep the Teen Sleep Diary. Decide what you need to change to get enough sleep to stay healthy, happy, and smart!

 

  • Naps can help pick you up and make you work more efficiently, if you plan them right. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can interfere with your regular sleep.

  • Make your room a sleep haven. Keep it cool, quiet and dark. If you need to, get eyeshades or blackout curtains. Let in bright light in the morning to signal your body to wake up.

  • No pills, vitamins or drinks can replace good sleep. Consuming caffeine close to bedtime can hurt your sleep, so avoid coffee, tea, soda/pop and chocolate late in the day so you can get to sleep at night. Nicotine and alcohol will also interfere with your sleep.

  • When you are sleep deprived, you are as impaired as driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is illegal for drivers in many states. Drowsy driving causes over 100,000 crashes each year. Recognize sleep deprivation and call someone else for a ride. Only sleep can save you!

  • Establish a bed and wake-time and stick to it, coming as close as you can on the weekends. A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel less tired since it allows your body to get in sync with its natural patterns. You will find that it’s easier to fall asleep at bedtime with this type of routine.

  • Don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours of your bedtime. Don’t leave your homework for the last minute. Try to avoid the TV, computer and telephone in the hour before you go to bed. Stick to quiet, calm activities, and you’ll fall asleep much more easily!

  • If you do the same things every night before you go to sleep, you teach your body the signals that it’s time for bed. Try taking a bath or shower (this will leave you extra time in the morning), or reading a book.

  • Try keeping a diary or to-do lists. If you jot notes down before you go to sleep, you’ll be less likely to stay awake worrying or stressing.

  • When you hear your friends talking about their all-nighters, tell them how good you feel after getting enough sleep.

  • Most teens experience changes in their sleep schedules. Their internal body clocks can cause them to fall asleep and wake up later. You can’t change this, but you can participate in interactive activities and classes to help counteract your sleepiness. Make sure your activities at night are calming to counteract your already heightened alertness.

 

If teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep to do their best and naturally go to sleep around 11:00 pm, one way to get more sleep is to start school later.     http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/teens-and-sleep

 

These suggestions point to establishing a regular routine for your teen and setting a time for all activities to cease each evening.

 

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teachers(s), and school. The students must arrive at school ready to learn and that includes being rested. Parent(s) and guardian(s) must ensure their child is properly nourished and rested as well as providing a home environment which is conducive to learning. Teachers must have strong subject matter knowledge and strong pedagogic skills. Schools must enforce discipline and provide safe places to learn. For more information on preparing your child for high school, see the U.S. Department of Education’s Tools for Success

 

Resources

 

  1. National Sleep Foundation’s Teens and Sleep
  2. Teen Health’s Common Sleep Problems
  3. CBS Morning News’ Sleep Deprived Kids and Their Disturbing Thoughts
  4. Psychology Today’s Sleepless in America
  5. National Association of State Board’s of Education Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn
  6. U.S. Department of Education’s Tools for Success

 

Related:

 

Another study: Sleep problems can lead to behavior problems in children                                                                                 https://drwilda.com/2013/03/30/another-study-sleep-problems-can-lead-to-behavior-problems-in-children/

 

 

Where Information Leads to Hope ©     Dr. Wilda.com

 

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

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5 Responses to “Stony Brook Medicine study: Teens need sleep to function properly and make healthy food choices”

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