Stories about: sleepiness

Why have kids’ sleep recommendations changed over the years?

There’s a general consensus among the medical community that many young people aren’t getting enough sleep these days. And with high tech distractions like TV, video games and the Internet competing for their late night attention, it’s no wonder that today’s children aren’t getting as much rest as they should.

But is there really such a thing as the perfect amount of sleep for young people? And is this current lack of sleep really a new problem, the byproduct of our kids’ fascination with Xbox, Facebook and the like? According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, the answer is no on all accounts.

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How dangerous are tired teen drivers?

By Dennis Rosen, MD, associate medical director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Sleep Laboratory

Are early school start times affecting how well kids drive?
Are early school start times affecting how well kids drive?

Robert Vorona, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk VA, recently conducted a study that found an association between car accidents involving teen drivers and early high school start times.   

Vorona’s research team found that in Virginia Beach, where high school classes began at 7:20 a.m., there were 65.4 automobile crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers. In the adjacent town of Chesapeake, where high school start times averaged 8:40 a.m., there were only 46.2 crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers. In both cities, the peak incidence of crashes with teen drivers was immediately after schools let out in the afternoon.

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Drowsy driving

stockphotopro_4667584FPM_no_titleby Dennis Rosen, MD – Associate Medical Director of Children’s Sleep Laboratory

Sleepiness is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents, and teenagers and young adults seem to be especially at risk. Teenage drivers are three times as likely to be involved in car accidents than middle age adult drivers and studies have shown that two-thirds of sleepiness-related crashes occur in teens and young adults.

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