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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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Teens, School, Sleep, and Crashes

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I’ve written in the past about the connection between problems driving and being tired.

Good Sleep Can Make for Better Driving, Mike Bryant | March 08, 2011 9:11 AM

The Importance Of Sleep To Driving, Mike Bryant | March 22, 2009 9:02 AM

Recent studies are suggesting that this issue is even more important for teen drivers. As we get back to school there are a number of factors that contribute to the issue: Teens need 9 hours of sleep:

adolescent sleep cycles showed that teens’ melatonin secretions began later in the evening and shut off later in the morning. This shift in teens’ internal clocks means that the drive to go to bed later and get up later is physiological, not necessarily the hallmark of a slacker.

Sleep deprivation in teens has serious consequences. There are the mood changes that can turn your teen into a monosyllabic, glowering creature. Lack of sleep is also linked to increased tardiness and absenteeism, and lower academic performance.

Tired teens gain more weight and have poor nutrition; they may have no time for breakfast or increase their caffeine intake to try to wake up. Most serious of all, fatigue raises the risk of accident and injury.

Suggestions to help include:

  • 30 minutes of electronic-free time before bed, during which phones and computers are shut off to give your teen a chance to wind down before going to sleep.
  • backpack packed,
  • clothes laid out,
  • lunch or lunch money ready.

The key is getting the extra time in, so that a good night sleep can be gained. The benefits suggest that it’s life and health saving.