Daytime Sleepiness Is Responsible For Poor Self-Regulation in Teens: Study Inadequate sleep for a prolonged period can up the risk for many physical and psychological disorders. Among the teens in the United States, the condition has become an epidemic, which is responsible for problems like depression, substance abuse, academic failure and even fatal accidents. One of the major fallouts of insufficient sleep is poor self-regulation in teens. Inadequate sleep makes them incapable of changing their thinking, emotions and behaviors in accordance with the situation. It almost invariably affects their health and school-related activities. However, this is somewhat contradicted in a recent study, led by Judith Owens, from the Boston Children's Hospital and Robert Whitaker, from the Temple University. They found that poor selfregulation in teens is caused by a daytime sleepiness and a tendency to be a “night owl,” referred to as an evening chronotype. It is not triggered by teens’ sleeping hours on school nights. “The results of this study suggest it's not how long you sleep that has the biggest impact on selfregulation, but when you sleep in relation to the body's natural circadian rhythms and how impaired you are by sleepiness,” said Owens, a director of the Sleep Center at Boston Children's. The findings, published online in the Pediatrics in November 2016, analyzed a data of 2,017 online surveys conducted on 7th-to 12-graders from 19 middle and high schools in Fairfax County, Virginia. The students gave details related to their sleep, self-regulation, and cognitive, behavioral and emotional aspects. The researchers found that close to 22 percent students slept fewer than seven hours on school nights, which is lesser than what is recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that is eight to 10 hours for 13-to 18-year-olds for their robust health and functioning. The researchers found that sleep duration, daytime sleepiness and chronotype were intrinsically linked. Those who slept lesser on school nights were sleepier in the daytime.
Poor self-regulation linked to night-owl tendencies The researchers examined all the three aspects of sleep and adjusted for age, sociodemographic factors and mental health conditions like ADHD, depression and anxiety. They revealed that it was daytime sleepiness and “night owl” tendencies which were linked to impaired self-regulation. Sleep duration had nothing to do with it. When adolescents are not able to follow the school schedules, they choose to wake up at a time when their alertness is at the lowest. Due to this, they do not get the rapid-eyemovement (REM) sleep, mostly seen in the early morning hours, which is crucial for forming memories and learning new information, the study said. “Children and adolescents with better self-regulation have better physical health, mental health, and financial security as adults,” said Whitaker. He added that it is imperative for people to understand how sleep and other factors optimize the development of self-regulation. Dealing with mental conditions It is never easy dealing with mental health disorders as they can jeopardize a patient’s life and affect the family members. However, symptoms can be managed and mental conditions are treatable with timely intervention. If you have a loved one suffering from any mental condition and are scouting for mental health treatment centers, contact Recover Mental Health, a comprehensive resource center dedicated to providing information on everything related to mental health and substance abuse. We have over 21,000 listings in our directory and can provide quick and easy access to treatment centers across the United States and its territories as well as Canada. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-2339 for a quick response. Whether it is alcohol abuse rehab centers or any other substance abuse rehab centers you are looking for, help is just a call away for a long-term recovery.
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