Teens and young adults are drastically falling behind on their sleep, according to research conducted by the Institut National du Sommeil et de la Vigilance (National Institute of Sleep and Alertness). The study gathered data from 1014 people aged between 15 and 24 years old.
According to the results, 38% of people aged between 15-24 sleep less than seven hours a night, while the American National Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and ten hours of sleep a night. Neurobiologist Joëlle Adrien, president of the INSV, adds that ’88% of them even feel tired, nervous, or drowsy’.
The effects of sleep deprivation
For the people falling in this age bracket, sleep deprivation can cause a negative impact on studies due to lowered cognitive function. A lack of sleep can also bring about other effects, such as metabolic disorders, weakened immune system, or cardiovascular problems. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression have also been linked to insufficient sleeping.
How to improve your sleep
Experts involved with the study have suggested avoiding taking long naps that may disrupt your sleep cycle. The ideal amount of time for a nap should not exceed 15 minutes.
They also point out that the idea of ‘catching up’ on sleep is a myth. Sleeping in the morning has much less benefit on the human body than a proper sleep at night, so sleeping in on the weekend should be limited.
Professor Davenne from the Comète Laboratory at the University of Caen cites diet and physical exercise as one of the leading factors contributing to a proper night of sleep. ‘It is important to realise that sleep deprivation affects quality of life, influences the metabolic balance, and can lead to obesity’, she states. ‘Be care of the viscous circle: the less we move, the more we eat. The less we sleep, the more tired we become.’
In addition to all of these factors, one growing problem has been occurring since the advent of devices: hyperconnectivity. 83% of participants admit to looking at a screen like their smartphone just before going to sleep. Studies have shown that surfing before sleeping can leave a huge impact on quality of sleep, so it’s best to avoid staring at a screen one hour before going to sleep.
Check out the video above to find out more...