October 29, 2014
Science Daily/Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Most Americans who spend part of the year on daylight saving time look forward to the extra hour of sleep when it’s time to “fall back” to standard time. We are a nation of sleep-deprived people, and experts say all ages suffer in various, unhealthy ways.
"For children, sleep deprivation can lead to behavior problems, trouble focusing and learning in school and it can affect their immune systems," said Dr. Aneesa Das, a sleep medicine specialist at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. "Chronic tiredness makes it harder to cope and process what's going on around you."
When children enter the teen years, sleep becomes a bigger issue. Das says a teen's circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, tells them to stay awake later and sleep later than children and adults do. She says only 15 percent of teenagers get the recommended sleep they need.
"Sleep is time the body uses to restore itself. Muscles and other tissues repair themselves, hormones that control growth, development and appetite are released. Energy is restored and memories are solidified, so we need to try to get regular sleep on a regular basis," Das said.