Posts Tagged ‘sleepy

If you have a teenager dreading the thought of that early wake up call on the first day of school, there is something you can do about it:


Sleep experts are saying it’s tough for teens to get enough sleep because their natural body clocks are rarely in sync with the school bell. That’s why the National Sleep Foundation urges teen to start resetting their internal clock before the start of the new school year. For some teens, the process takes only a few days. But the many others, it can be several weeks before the internal clock come to terms with the crack of down.

But, you put the blame on puberty. According to, the teenaged body wants to fall alseep later at night and then sleep later into the morning. That may work for the summer vacation, but once the school year starts that natural sleep cycle is interrupted. You go to bed when you’re tired, and wake up to an alarm clock or Mom knocking loudly on the door. That’s why many high-schoolers go to class without the 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep their bodys naturally need.

Because of their unique sleep needs, teenagers’ brains are not ready to be alert until long after the  typical high school day has already begun. The disconnect between teens’ natural sleep rhythm and the timing imposed by the school day was analyzed by the Sleep Disorders Center at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut. Students in the study attended classes where the start of the school day was delayed by 40 minutes, from 7:35 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The study found that the students slept an average of 33 minutes longer each night and were less likely to be tired when classes began.

Of course, it’s not likely that you will be able to convince school authorities to reset the clock in time for the new school year. So here are some tips for resetting the body’s clock:

  • In the weeks before the new school year, start going to bed and waking up 15 minuted earlier each day – including weekends. And don’t nap during the day.
  • Stay away from caffeine and other substances which can affect sleep. Open the blinds and turn on the lights as soon as you wake up. Avoid bright lights during the evening.
  • Try to relax as bed time approaches.

If you are serious about adjusting your sleep cycle to more closely match the school day, you can’t take weekends off. Don’t go to bed more than one hour later than your weekday bedtime. Don’t sleep more than two or three hours later in the morning. Make sure you don’t go off schedule more than two nights in a row.

Getting the family to help is always a plus, an alert teen is more likely to be a happier, more emotionally stable and socially competent individual than a sleepy teen.  🙂


drowsy-driver.jpg   People with obstructive sleep apnea have a markedly increased risk of severe motor vehicle crashes involving personal injury. The study of 800 people with sleep apnea and 800 with a nighttime breathing disorder found that patients with sleep apnea were twice as likely as people without sleep apnea to have a car crash, and three to five times as likely to have a serious crash involving personal injury. Overall, the sleep apnea group had a total of 250 crashes over three years, compared with the 123 crashes in the group without sleep apnea.

  drowsyy-driver-deterent.jpg While many previous studies have shown that sleep apnea patients are not increased risk of car crashes, this study is the first to look at the severity of those crashes. Upon comparison, many of the sleep apnea patients’ crashes involved personal injury, but that some patients had fairly mild sleep apnea were at increased risk car crashes. Based on those findings, it is now considered driving risk when deciding on treatments for patients with mild sleep apnea.

  tired-sleepy-driver.gif The study is the biggest one to combine validated sleep apnea diagnosis through an overnight sleep study called polysonography, with data from insurance records to verify motor vehicles crashes and their severity. In obstructive sleep apnea, the upper airway narrows, or collapses, during sleep. Periods of apnea end with a brief partial arousal that may disrupt sleep hundreds of times throughout the night. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea            

snoring-smiling-face.jpg This study also found that while in the general population men have more vehicle crashes than women, among sleep apnea patients, men and women actually crash at a similar rate. Although, the issue of treatment is not addressed by this study, data from other groups suggest that crashes related to sleep apnea are preventable.