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Sleep can improve a teen’s ability to cope with a pandemic

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Peaceful Woman Asleep In Bed As Day Break Through Curtains

Encouragement of healthier sleep habits, according to the experts, could help lower teen stress and increase their ability to manage in times of crisis

Encouragement of healthier sleep habits, according to the experts, could help lower teen stress and increase their ability to manage in times of crisis. The research, which was published in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, looks at pre-pandemic sleeping patterns and stress during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a new study from McGill University, while poor sleep was connected to higher levels of stress during the Covid-19 pandemic, more teens actually got the appropriate amount of sleep compared to pre-pandemic sleeping trends.

Lockdowns caused changes in everyday habits, allowing youngsters to follow their biological instincts to wake up and sleeping later, lowering daytime sleepiness. “The epidemic has proven that postponing school start times can benefit and should be applied by schools concerned in supporting their students’ mental health,” stated main author Reut Gruber, a Full Professor of McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry.

Teens’ wake-up and sleeping times varied by nearly two hours throughout the pandemic. Many teenagers also slept longer and were less compelled to make up for missing sleep on weekends. The researchers add that eliminating the morning commute, delaying the start of school, and cancelling extracurricular activities allowed youngsters to follow their ‘delayed biological rhythm,’ or natural tendency to rise up and go to bed later.

“Shorter sleep duration and higher arousal at bedtime were connected to higher levels of stress, whereas longer sleep and lower arousal at bedtime were linked to lower levels of stress,” said Gruber, who is also the Director of the Douglas Research Centre’s Attention, Behaviour, and Sleep Laboratory. “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of sleep among teenagers was already a global phenomenon. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we address the issue “Sujata Saha, a principal of Riverside School Board’s Heritage Regional High School, claimed she was a co-author.

 

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