Teenagers who regularly miss out on the required levels of sleep are affecting their daily performance in class and even damaging their cognitive abilities, says a new report. Activities such as working on computers, playing video games and texting on mobile phones as well as sports and workouts late in the evening are causing teens bedtimes to get later, eating into precious sleep time.
The effect of the later bedtimes includes a lack of REM sleep, which is crucial for the consolidation of memory and management of stress levels. Regularly missing out on this vital process can cause a loss of cognitive function.
“Most teens are only receiving seven hours of sleep or less,” said Dr. Lou Tartaglia.
The common practice of ‘catching up’ on lost sleep with weekend lie-ins, known as ‘sleep debt’, is particularly problematic with teenager’s bodies and causes a cyclical repetition of the issue.