Culture Snapshot: Parents Influence Teen Sleep Habits

Culture Snapshot: Parents Influence Teen Sleep Habits

A recent study by researchers at UCLA and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teenagers’ sleeping habits are highly influenced by their parents. Although teens and parents often went to bed and got up at different times, the duration of sleep, general bedtimes and wake up times for both were eerily similar — with teens only averaging 17 minutes more of sleep than their parents on weekdays.

The study followed over 300 pairs of teens and parents for nearly two years, with researchers tracking the daily activities and sleep habits of the participants.

With the results of the study in mind, parents should evaluate their own sleeping habits, and make changes where necessary in order to role model behaviors that may result in improved sleeping habits by their teens.


Why it matters:
– Today’s teens are notorious for not getting adequate sleep. A recent study found that in 2012, just 63% of 15-year-olds reported getting seven or more hours of sleep a night, a figure that is down from 72% in 1991.

– Researchers have linked the lack of adequate sleep for teens to a multitude of substantial adolescent problems including decreased level of overall health, poorer school performance, an increase in depression, and an increase in the likelihood of involvement in at-risk behaviors.

– In February of 2015, the National Sleep Foundation released updated recommendations on the amount of sleep teens and adult should get nightly. The updated recommendations were based on a review of published scientific studies and consensus from a panel of sleep, medical and psychological experts. The new recommendation for teens is 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, and 7 to 9 hours for adults.