top
BODi 14-Day Free Trail
Shop  -  Blog  -  Index  -  About  -  Contact  -  Home

Too Young To Be So Tired

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

America is an overworked and under-slept nation, and parents are among the most sleep-deprived segment of the population. We Americans spend more hours working than residents of any industrialized nation. In order to keep up with the demands of work, of keeping the house going, spending time with the kids and taking a moment for ourselves, we steal time from sleep.

It starts with childbirth. Raising an infant is exhausting. On average, a parent of a new baby loses 400 to 750 hours of sleep during the first year! But the need for parental intervention doesn’t disappear the first year. A third of children ages one to four require some form of nighttime ministration.

Chronically sleep-deprived, parents are at risk of thinking that tiredness is a normal condition of life. But it’s not. Even small decrements from the eight-hour standard for adults can impair performance in the following days. Memory, learning, coordination, concentration, mood, ability to tolerate stress -- all are affected by sleep loss. But as bad as sleep deprivation is for adults, it’s an unfair burden to foist on kids, whose growth and learning -- and thus capacity for future performance -- hinges on adequate sleep.

Unfortunately, says Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, Ph.D., young parents know nothing about the rules for good sleep. As a result, many kids today are struggling just to keep their eyes open. They’re not just falling asleep on the school bus, they’re having trouble keeping on task inside the classroom. When they’re not in a stupor they’re acting up and acting out... and often mistakenly diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder (ADD) and given stimulants.

Dr. Maas wants to set the record straight and let parents know that kids today need much more sleep than they are currently getting.

  • High school and college kids average 6.1 hours of sleep a night when they need 9.25 hours to be fully alert all day long the next day.

  • Kids are swilling stimulants like coffee and colas -- and sometimes amphetamines -- to keep themselves awake.

  • Behavioral problems among kids in middle school and high school significantly disappear when kids get more sleep.

  • Lack of sleep magnifies the effect of alcohol, with alarming results. One drink on five and a half hours sleep, reports Dr. Maas, has the same effect as six drinks on eight hours of sleep. “You have a young population learning to drive and experimenting with alcohol, a deadly combo. The greatest killer of teenagers is car accidents largely exacerbated by sleepiness.”

  • Sleep is critical to academic performance. It is also essential for performance on the athletic field, and for mood.

  • The sleep deprivation of today’s students is exacerbated by so-called yo-yo scheduling -- going to bed late during the week, but going to bed even later on the weekends. Lack of sleep on weekends delays the nightly secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. As a result, kids are “walking zombies” in the school corridors on Mondays. “Their bodies are in the classroom but their brains are jet-lagged, somewhere in London, and they never left home.” The delay in hormone secretion also keeps them from going to bed on time the next day, even though they are vastly sleep-deprived.
  • Motor skills are improved about 20 percent with sleep of adequate duration. Between the sixth and the eighth hour of sleep, the brain acts on calcium molecules, preserving motor skills newly acquired through practice.

  • When the schools in a community adopt later start times, allowing kids to get more sleep, behavioral problems plummet and performance in the classroom and on the playing field improves.

    You watch what your kids eat so why not make sure they get enough sleep?

Hara Estroff Marano is Editor-At-Large of Psychology Today magazine and Editor-In-Chief of Psychology Today's Blues Buster, a newsletter about depression. An award-winning writer on human behavior, Haras articles have appeared in publications including the New York Times, Smithsonian, Family Circle and The Ladies Home Journal. She lives in New York City.

back to top
Annual Beachbody On Demand Membership
With BODi 30-Day Free Trial - Just $99.00!
Beachbody On Demand Annual Membership with BODi Free Trial
Beachbody On Demand
and Shakeology Bundle
Save $263.90

Beachbody On Demand and Shakeology Bundle
Beachbody On Demand Performance Bundle
Save $243.90

Beachbody On Demand Performance Bundle
MYX II Bike Sale
Save $350 with code BEACHBODYMYX
MYX II Bike Sale
Become a Team Beachbody Coach and Save 25%
on All Orders

Learn About This Rewarding Business Opportunity
Team Beachbody Business Opportunity
Free Sample Workouts
645
ree Sample Workout
Let's Get Up
Free Sample Workout
9 Week Control Freak
Free Sample Workout
30 Day Breakaway
Free Sample Workout
Barre Blend
Free Sample Workout
#MBF
Free Sample Workout
6 Weeks of The WORK
Free Sample Workout
LIIFT4
Free Sample Workout
Transform :20
Free Sample Workout
Shift Shop
Free Sample Workout
Mes de Mas
Free Sample Workout
Free Online Coaching
Polar Performance Store
Beachbody 25% Off Club
Streaming Live Workouts
Free Sample Workouts
Total Solution Bundles
Get the Best Deal
Try Shakeology Risk Free
Lose Weight
Get Fitter
Start Your Own Home Fitness Business
Team Howtobefit on Facebook Team Howtobefit on Twitter Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter on Instagram Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter's Blog
Coach Rich Dafter
CEO and Head Coach
Rich Dafter
Top      

The goal of Team Beachbody is to provide you with solutions to reach your health and fitness goals. Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.

Disclaimer: Team Beachbody® does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach's income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill. See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings (below) for the most recent information on the actual incomes of all our Coaches.

© 2020 Howtobefit.com  -  About   -  Contact  -  Join My Team  -  Coach Earnings Statement  -  Site Map  -  Shop -  Home