This week on Where Parents Talk radio on 105.9 The Region, host Lianne Castelino speaks to Lisa L. Lewis, parenting journalist, mother of two and author of The Sleep-Deprived: Why Our Teenagers are so Tired, and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive.
She shares the latest science on adolescent sleep and also discusses healthy school start times and how that impacts sleep for middle and high school-aged children.
LISA L. LEWIS
Mother of 2
Author, The Sleep-Deprived Teen: Why Our Teenagers are so Tired, and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive
“What I found was that there are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to sleep. And I think when it comes to sleep overall, I would say that many of us are sleep deprived. You know, we are up against this attitude that sort of you can get by on less sleep, that that’s somehow a badge of honour. And so I think that’s sort of the first misconception to take off the table because none of us function any better when we are sleep deprived.
Our teens are not yet adults, they are still going through this massive phase of development, we see the physical transformations that take place, but they are going through a massive phase of brain development too. They don’t yet have adult sleep needs up until age 18. The official recommendation is eight to 10 hours of sleep every single night.
Nobody does anything better when they’re sleep deprived. So that’s true across the board. For instance, when you think about as an adult, when we are sleep deprived, we are more impulsive, more emotional. Well, that is even more so for our teens. And that has to do with the fact that they are still in the space of adolescent brain development. But we know teen sleep deprivation exacerbates mental health issues. So depression, anxiety, even suicidality.”