Children’s mental health is a significant concern for many parents, schools and society at large. We also know that children with ADHD are more prone to both anxiety and depression than neurotypical children.
Unfortunately, sleep issues can also be part of having ADHD. Not a good combination.
We could probably make a long list of factors contributing to the rise in mental health issues for our children, but one that we do not hear enough about is sleep deprivation. 💤
Study after study connects a lack of sleep to poor mental health. It is also a factor for behavior problems at home and at school.
Additionally, it impacts learning greatly.
The group of children most impacted by the sleep loss in our country are teenagers.
Experts agree that today’s teenagers are the most sleep deprived group of people in human history. 😱
These adolescents are suffering from severe and chronic sleep deprivation.
There are many reasons why children are not getting the sleep that they need:
- Excessive academic pressure
- School start times not aligning with natural circadian rhythms
- Proliferation of smart phones
- Excessive sports activities
- and many more..
The good news is that we can make changes to help our children get more sleep and it will make a difference!
In 2019, Psychiatric News shared that after nights with less than their usual amount of sleep—an amount that varied from person to person—teenagers rated themselves as angrier and lonelier the next day. Teenagers who slept longer and more soundly than they usually did felt happier the next day. They also felt happier and less angry on weekends, when they typically slept longer than on school days.
Sleep needs to be a priority for our children, regardless of age.
This chart is a great reference tool. 👇
Some experts estimate that nearly 10% of children diagnosed with ADHD have sleep apnea, which greatly impacts the quality of sleep. A sleep study can help diagnose sleep apnea. 😴
If you want to help protect your child’s mental health, make sure you are prioritizing sleep. It will make a huge difference in so many ways.