UCLA researchers have reported that teenagers need more sleep than adults, because they are at an important stage of development. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only about 15% of teenagers polled slept 8.5 hours or more per night.
This is a dangerous situation, since fatigue can affect motor control, response times, cognitive development and performance, and more. Teens who aren’t getting enough sleep may have a harder time concentrating in class or meeting their full potential academically. They may also feel achy and generally terrible. Lack of adequate sleep can also contribute to mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
In addition, fatigue can put teens at risk of a number of injuries, including:
- Car accidents. Fatigued driving is a serious concern in Hollywood and across the nation. When teen drivers don’t get enough sleep, they may not have the response times or the decision-making ability to avoid car accidents. Since teens are still developing their driving skills, especially, they may be more at risk of car accidents when compared with other fatigued drivers.
- Sports injuries. Teens who take part in school or afterschool sports need to be able to keep their focus on the game to avoid getting injured. Fatigue can mean they drop a ball or miss an incoming ball, leading to serious head injuries and other injuries.
- Workplace injuries. Teens who have afterschool jobs may be more at risk of injuries, such as falls, crushing injuries, and other injuries if they are fatigued. Proper rest ensures they can stay focused on doing their jobs safely.
- General injuries. According to experts, just about everything is more risky when fatigue is a factor. Teens may be more likely to trip and fall and make preventable mistakes which lead to serious injury when they are tired.
There are several things that parents can do to ensure their teens get enough sleep and rest so they can avoid injury and so they can function at their best levels. Encouraging your teen to make proper time management choices and to say no to some obligations can help your child get enough sleep. Encourage proper rest with a comfortable bedroom environment as well. If your teen is struggling with insomnia – a common ailment for teenagers – consider visiting the doctor to give your child the medical support they need.
If you or your child have been injured in a car accident or other incidents which may have been caused by negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group to speak to a Hollywood car accident lawyer. Our attorneys can help you understand whether you have a claim and may be able to represent you if you do.