There are so many studies in our journal and others noting the importance of good sleep hygiene and pointing out the problems that occur when sleep is curtailed in children and adolescents, and yet this week we offer a different longitudinal perspective on sleep studies.
Keyes et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2707) share their analysis of historical shifts in adolescent sleep time over 20 years using national survey data of more than 272,000 teens from 27 years of birth cohorts. Teens in each cohort were asked if they were getting at least 7 hours of sleep and if the amount of sleep they were getting was adequate or not. The authors share trends indicating that adolescent sleep has been declining over the last 20 years with girls not doing as well as boys in getting adequate sleep. There are also lots of misperceptions noted between teens feeling they are getting adequate sleep relative to what they are actually getting especially for underrepresented minorities and teens with lower socioeconomic status.
If you aren’t talking sleep hygiene with your teen patients, this study is nothing to snore at—and should energize you to make this more of a priority in your anticipatory guidance discussions during health maintenance visits with adolescents in your practice. Stay up a few minutes later tonight—and read this study to learn more.