I am not sure how many of us have realised that our sleeping habits, particularly those of youngsters, have undergone a dramatic change over the years. While office goers either carry their work home or spend time watching TV, the younger generation spends time on social networking sites or on their gadgets. Students are forced to spend late hours studying and completing assignments. But little do they know the kind of impact their sleeping habits have on them.
Researchers have proved that teenagers need to have at least nine to 10 hours of sleep every night. But they sleep only six to seven hours or sometimes lesser than that. The worst part is that they do not realise what this does to their system.
Constant deprival of sleep affects academic performance, social life and, more importantly, health.
Those who do not get the required amount of sleep find it difficult to remember what they learn because they become less attentive in class. This reflects in their studies and their academic performance gets affected.
As their ability to concentrate is reduced they have problems understanding what their parents and teachers say. This leads to friction and leaves all parties concerned annoyed and exasperated. These children have problems making correct choices, as well. Mood swings are another common disturbing trait. Sleep-deprived children habitually become overexcited or offensive and exhibit extremes in conduct.
When sleep at nights is disturbed they tend to experience drowsiness and irregular sleep patterns.
McCance, a Harvard-educated psychotherapist and Toronto-based mental health expert, says, “Sleep deprivation causes negative thinking. And it’s hard for teens to get out of it, because their body is so tired. It also causes irritability, which parents often attribute to being a teen and hormonal changes.
Lack of sleep – or no gas in the tank – wears the body down, contributing to depression, sadness and a general lack of interest in life.”
A study done by Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation has revealed that irregular sleeping patterns result in insomnia. And those with insomnia develop despair that leads to depression and drug abuse. When not treated these individuals sometimes have suicidal thoughts. Though it is quite an alarming situation not many of us are aware of this. Hence doctors suggest everyone, not only children, have a regular sleeping pattern with enough sleeping hours.
Trying the following may help you to get into a regular sleeping pattern.
Having a relaxing hot bath or a cup of hot milk may help. Let your mind relax at least for an hour before you sleep. For this you need to stop engaging in activities like watching television, playing computer games, solving difficult academic problems, or even listening to loud music.
Whether it is a weekend or weekday follow a particular timing, though most of us like to stay awake late on the weekends. More importantly ensure that you have all your mobile phones and computers switched off. Creating good sleep habits is one way to make certain that you succeed in all your endeavours.
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. – William Blake