Nowadays approximately 75 percent of tweens and teens get around ≤ 7 hours of sleep nightly, but ideally need between 9 and 10 hours.  Continuous sleep deprivation and disturbances have been linked to serious consequences. Not surprisingly, the CDC has declared sleep insufficiency a public health epidemic.

What should all parents know:

1) Sleep plays an important role in learning.  Research shows that even 1 night of poor sleep negatively impacts attention span, working memory, recall, speed of information processing and overall learning ability. 

2) There is a 70 percent increased risk of injury in young athletes who get less than 8 hours of sleep.

3) Irregular sleep patterns and sleep problems have been shown to increase risk taking behaviors in teens. 

4) Sleep loss disrupts appetite regulating hormones in the direction of excess food intake—while regular uninterrupted sleep results in lower rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases.

5) What you eat and drink can cause or contribute to sleep disorders and insomnia.  Recent data shows refined carbohydrates (i.e. white bread, white rice, soda and added sugars) spike blood sugars and the body’s release of insulin and other hormones—such as adrenaline and cortisol—that interfere with sleep. Other research shows the higher the daily dose of caffeine, the more disruption of the REM/nonREM cycles and less time spent in restorative, slow-wave or “deep” sleep.

6) Sleep disturbances have been shown to increase the risk of developing depression, while insufficient sleep is associated with a significant increased risk of suicidal ideation among adolescents. 

7) Parental-set bedtimes have protective factors that offer far reaching physical and mental health, academic and safety benefits.


CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2018, February 22)
Owens, J. (2014). Insufficient Sleep in Adolescents and Young Adults: An Update on Causes and Consequences. Pediatrics, 134(3). doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-1696
Sleep and Health. (2019, May 29)
World Sleep Day® is March 13, 2020


These materials are provided to you by Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s
Eat Well, Be Well Nutrition Outreach Program.
For more tips and information, please visit

Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well Program

Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.

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