As a new report from the World Health Organisation shows that one in four 11 to 15-year-olds in England has too little sleep, Dr Michelle Miller of Warwick Medical School, discusses the what her own research into sleep in young people has revealed.
Dr Miller said: “Sleep is an active process in which memory consolidation, tissue restoration, metabolic and haemostatic processes occur. Accumulating evidence suggests that chronic sleep loss and associated sleepiness and daytime impairments in adolescence are a serious threat to the academic success, health, and safety of our nation's youth and an important public health issue. Short sleep has been associated with a number of physical and mental health problems. Our study demonstrated that short sleep was associated with a 30% increased risk of obesity in adolescents aged 12-18yrs of age.
“A greater understanding of the sleep practices and environmental factors that contribute to sleep loss in adolescents and to generate the evidence base necessary to inform changes in public health is required but educational programmes could be used to empower parents and children to improve sleep quality and maximise quantity.”
23 January 2020
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