Debra Goldschmidt, a CNN writer, stated sleep deprivation is such a widespread problem that last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called insufficient sleep “a public health epidemic.”
Goldschmidt stated teenagers may be suffering the most. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health titled the problem “The Great Sleep Recession” in a new report published in the journal Pediatrics. They “surveyed more than 270,000 teens in eighth, 10th and 12th grades between 1991 and 2012 and found teens are getting less and less sleep.” The normal amount of sleep is seven hours a day, which is “two hours less” than the nine hours they should be having.
Goldschmidt stated Katherine W. Keyes, lead researcher and assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman, says her and her team believe less sleep could be due to increased Internet and social media use as well as pressure and competition from college.
Goldschmidt stated not getting enough sleep effects our minds and bodies regardless of age. She stated sleep deprivation causes us to eat more and it “shrinks our brains, is linked to Type 2 diabetes, leads to slow reaction time that can impair driving and can even cause false memories.”
Goldschmidt stated there are proven things people can do to fall asleep and sleep better after they fall asleep. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine says “mindful meditation helps adults fall asleep and stay asleep.”
Goldschmidt also stated the National Sleep Foundation recommends a relaxing bedtime ritual, settling down before bed and meditation. The Foundation also recommends “waking up and going to bed at the same time every day and using bright lights to help wake up.” They also advised to avoid naps; and heavy meals, alcohol and cigarettes at night.