Insights Into Teens: Episode 8 “Sleep”

Madison and Joe tackle the ever elusive subject of sleep. We dive into what sleep deprivation is, how it can adversely affect us in different ways, what are the major causes of sleep deprivation in teens and hints on how to improve the amount and quality of sleep you are getting.

Insights Into Teens
Insights into Teens Podcast

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:10Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Waylon, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:0:31Welcome to insights into teens, episode eight sleep. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon, and I’m here with my cohost, Madison Waylon. Oh Daddy. How are you doing today man?

Speaker 3:0:44Already fine. I mean I’m bit moody as you, as I’ve already explained to you, but other than that I’m fine.

Speaker 2:0:52Well hopefully we’ll be able to get through the podcast without any problems on top of stuff. So we’re going to be talking about sleep today and a steep is a big thing for teens. Yeah. Um, I guess we should really start off by just sort of going down what we’re going to talk about today. Yeah. Like we normally do. First we’ll define what sleep deprivation is cause that’s really what we’re going to be talking about. Then we’re going to talk about some interesting facts about sleep that, uh, came out of a sleep study from sleep Okay. Then we’ll talk about some of the causes for lack of sleep and teens. Alrighty. Oh, followed by what are the effects of that lack of sleep? One teens. Oh, okay. And then, uh, we’ll finish that discussion up with how to improve your sleep and then we’ll conclude with your closing remarks. Yup. So let’s get right into it.

Speaker 4:1:53Okay.

Speaker 2:1:54So what is sleep deprivation? According to the Columbia University Department of neurology, sleep deprivation is not a specific disease. It’s usually the result of other illnesses of life circumstances that can cause it’s own symptoms and poor health outcomes. Sleep deprivation means you’re not getting enough sleep. For most adults, the amount of sleep needed for best house is seven to eight hours each night.

Speaker 3:2:24Do they ever talk about the perfect amount of sleep for teens?

Speaker 2:2:28Now, not in this particular definition, but in my research I did find that the ideal hour, the ideal amount of time the team should have for sleep is between eight and 10 hours. Okay. So teens need a little bit more sleep than average adults do. Yeah, kind of makes a bit of sense. Yeah. So, but basically sleep deprivation based on this definition is caused by other things. It’s not a disease in and of itself. Yeah. And I think for the most part when we talk about teens, it’s less about other illnesses causing sleep deprivation because there was other illnesses could be insomnia, chronic fatigue, various types of things. But I think when it comes to teens, and this kind of plays out from our previous talk about stress, it’s life circumstances. It’s, it’s things that you deal with in life that wind up robbing you of sleep. Let’s get into uh, the various facts that we have about sleep.

Speaker 4:3:37Okay.

Speaker 2:3:38So this came from a study from the sleep They say sleep is vital to your wellbeing as important as the air you breathe, which I think is kind of dramatic. Uh, says that it’s as important as the water you drink and the food that you eat. It even helps you to eat better and manage stress of being a team. And I think you’ll agree with that, wouldn’t you? Yes, I would definitely agree. So lack of sleep tends to make you more irritable and cause more stress, doesn’t it?

Speaker 3:4:13Yeah. If you don’t miss your brain, you’re gonna have more problems with maintaining your stress.

Speaker 2:4:20They also go on to say that biological sleep pattern shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence, meaning it’s a natural not to be able to fall asleep before 11:00 PM as you get into your teen years. How’s, is that something that you’re running into yourself?

Speaker 3:4:39Yeah, I mean, I just moved into a new room. I don’t know that has anything to do with it, but I’ve just been having a harder time going to sleep

Speaker 2:4:50and it could be the new surroundings and getting used to it and stuff. Yeah. But I think the important takeaway from this is that your body is changing and your body wants to shift to a different sleep pattern. This is also where it says that, uh, teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function vest. But it also goes on to say that most teens don’t get enough sleep. Uh, one study said that only 15% of teens polled reported sleeping eight and a half hours on school nights. So that means that’s 85% of the kids aren’t getting enough sleep. Yeah. So do you, how many, how many hours of sleep do you think you get on average during the school week?

Speaker 3:5:32Well then go this way. I normally fall asleep at 12 and I wake up at six 20.

Speaker 2:5:41So that’s significantly less than the minimum nine hours that you need and that has a tendency of catching up with you throughout the week.

Speaker 3:5:51And unfortunately last night I was up til midnight and apparently I woke at four 30.

Speaker 2:5:59And you’ve been up since four 30.

Speaker 3:6:01Yeah. It’s hard for me to fall back to sleep normally.

Speaker 2:6:04Yeah. And that’s an issue. And you know, as the days grind or with less sleep like that, it catches up to you. The study also goes on to say the teens tend to have a regular sleep patterns across the week. They typically stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends, which clearly you didn’t do today.

Speaker 3:6:24Well, I’m pretty sure I’ll do that tonight or,

Speaker 2:6:29but they also go on to say, uh, that can affect your biological clock and it hurt your sleep quality. So what they’re saying is consistency in your sleep pattern. So if for whatever reason you don’t get enough sleep one night, it’s not a really a good idea to try and catch up on that sleep by sleeping late on the weekend. That could have its own issues. They go on to say that when you are sleep deprived, you are as impaired as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% which is illegal for drivers in most states. Now that probably doesn’t mean too much to you.

Speaker 3:7:10I would never consider myself sleep deprived, but just hearing that makes me afraid of that one day or get sleep deprived.

Speaker 2:7:19Right. Well and the thing is is you know, they compare this to drinking alcohol and try trying to drive a car where they basically say if, if you go without sleep, it’s almost like you’re driving drunk. If you, if you get into Cornell, you don’t drive. So that’s not an issue. But there’s other effects of that impairment on schoolwork or mood. The fact that you’re yawning right now while we’re having this discussion, all of these things are impacted by that lack of sleep. Um, they go on to also say that the amount of rest decreases as youth progress through high school. And that’s, there’s a number of factors and we’ll talk about the factors. The study goes on to say that each hour of lost sleep is associated with a 38% increase in the risk of sadness and hopelessness. So the lack of sleep has an impact emotionally on you as well. Do you find yourself any emotionally compromised on days that you’re exceptionally tired? Sometimes yes. But what do you do to compensate for that?

Speaker 3:8:28What does common say mean? Like how do you deal with it? Like you sometimes tell me, like you’ve said before, things that happen now won’t matter in your life later on. So I just suck up and deal with it.

Speaker 2:8:43Okay. I guess that’s one way to deal with it. So there’s a number of things that they found in this study that tend to cause a lack of sleep. And I want to run down some of these and just sort of get your thoughts on him. Find out if any of these have an impact on you. One is technology use. Now you’ve got a cell phone, you’ve got game systems and TVs and a laptop and all that stuff. Do you think the use of technology has an adverse impact on your sleep schedule?

Speaker 3:9:21Yeah, I have to agree. I mean I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but yeah, I’m not a big user of technology so I think that would have an impact on it.

Speaker 2:9:32So is it something where you’re just up late at night using it or is it like one thing that I find is that if I play video games before I go to bed, I can’t fall asleep because my brain is just, it’s still in that act of mode.

Speaker 3:9:46Yeah, that’s what I have on like weekends. Sometimes like mommy doesn’t tell me. Like when I go to sleep I just go to sleep when I can. Or when I feel like it. And that kind of happened last night, so, yeah.

Speaker 2:10:01And were you using technology last night?

Speaker 3:10:05Well, I like stopped after a little bit of time when to do a bit of drawing and just like got myself ready for regular night’s sleep.

Speaker 2:10:16So how long before you actually lay down and go to sleep? Did you stop using technology around 11 and usually do you want the bedroom 12? So about an hour or so that’s, that’s not too bad I guess. Uh, the next thing that they have in the study as a leading cause, his caffeine intake. Now you don’t drink coffee or tea or anything. Do you drink beverages that have caffeine or eat anything that has caffeine?

Speaker 3:10:41Oh, I’m like you said both. Well, I don’t know if I eat stuff as caffeine. I cause I really don’t know, um, for that as a caffeine in it. But I do drink diet soda sometimes for dinner. Other times I would drink juice and yeah, that, oh, I really think I have for caffeine. I mean if there are foods that I eat that have caffeine and I didn’t know about it, then well that’s a bonus.

Speaker 2:11:10Right. So you’re saying you drink it for dinner, so you obviously you stopped consuming it several hours before you go to bed. Pretty much. So the caffeine intake probably isn’t an issue for you then?

Speaker 3:11:23Yeah. Even though I do have caffeine in my body, well when I

Speaker 2:11:27well and your body tends, Amanda metabolize caffeine within a few hours, so as long as you’re not drinking it up to the time you got a bed, it shouldn’t be a contributing factor. Okay. The next one, however I suspect is a major contributor during the week for you and that’s a heavy homework load. How does that affect your sleep?

Speaker 3:11:48Well, a few times I’ve stayed up late having like past my bedtime, having to do my homework and other times like it would make me stressful when I had to bring it home. I always got stressed if I had either a project or like homework I still had to do after I got back home from school.

Speaker 2:12:10Yeah, I would think that would probably be more of a contributing factor than actually staying up there. Cause they know you’ve stayed up late a couple times. But what I really think it is is you know you get stressed out when you have a lot of different things to do and that stressed tends to weigh on you pretty heavily does. So the next thing that they have, which pretty sure isn’t an issue for you and that’s extra curricular activity, you know what they mean by that?

Speaker 3:12:36Yeah. Basically like activities like sports or girls stouts or Jim Gym, gymnastics so I can pronounce it right. Like basically what kids normally do after school. Like when people always say like when I had, after I have after and some of the parents say come on, we have to go to sports or gymnastics or stuff like that. I mean I don’t do that stuff though.

Speaker 2:13:01So none of that’s a factor for you then? No, not really. No. Okay. So the next thing that they have is an early start time for school. I think right now the grade you’re in, it’s, it’s one of the later start times. But you had mentioned just the other day that you’ll have to get up earlier for an early start time when you start middle school.

Speaker 3:13:22Yeah. And I actually still have to get up early on now cause you guys going to work early? I have, I can’t go to school at the normal time so I have to go to um, morning care in spine care. So

Speaker 2:13:36that’s, that’s right. So you are at school what a half hour, 45 minutes earlier than normal.

Speaker 3:13:41Yeah. And even with my schedule now, I’ll probably, when I get to middle school I probably had to back my, um, a week. Your wake time? Yeah, because I needed to get to the bus by six 30 and I woke up at six 20 and they needed like at least 30 to 40 minutes to get ready.

Speaker 2:14:00Right. And the other thing is, you know, when we get to that point, we can look at dropping you off and you wouldn’t have to get up as early if we drop you off because actually your new school is going to be sort of on my way to work and mommy’s wearing to work too.

Speaker 3:14:15I also learned that they stone hour before my real, my score does now, which is basically seven 15.

Speaker 2:14:23But the advantage of that as you get out earlier, to your point, it, it, it offsets. So the last thing that they had under this is a shift in internal biological clock. Uh, your biological clock post puberty where it affects your circadian rhythm and naturally keeps you up. Where to, you know, what a circadian rhythm is? No good cause I kind of knew what was but didn’t know the technical terms for, I wrote down the definition. Um, circadian rhythms are physical, mental or behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light in darkness in an organism’s environment, sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light related circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants, tiny microbes. So basically your circadian rhythm is how your body works on a clock. Your body needs a certain amount of sleep, you’re up certain amount of time.

Speaker 2:15:29Your Circadian Rhythm is basically what that pattern is and it responds to outside stimuli. Okay. Like for the most part, human beings are awake at night. We’re not really nocturnal creatures where were active at night. So we’re, I’m sorry, we’re awake during the day. We’re not nocturnal at night. Um, so we tend to wake up when the sun comes up and that influence of light on us as a significant influence on our sleeping patterns as well. Your Circadian Rhythm, you know, as you’re going through puberty, is going to change and evolve as you go through growth spurts. Your body will need more sleep, your body’s going to want to stay up later. It’s a lot of different balances that you’re dealing with here in addition to all the outside stimuli, like schoolwork and so forth. So that sort of sums up where a lot of lack of sleep comes from and teens.

Speaker 3:16:27Okay. Makes Sense. So I think I might have that as well.

Speaker 2:16:32Yeah, well we all have it. I mean a circadian rhythm is just our natural cycle

Speaker 3:16:36and I just want to say a few more things though. I think also calls my um, lack of sleep. Sure. I’m afraid of having the door open and seeing a dark hallway. Okay. I have this weird fear, which is why I close my door nowadays. Okay. Like I always have this weird fear like ever since this one night, a year ago where we went to the haunted house and like I I literally up with you guys cause I was just scared and that’s how I stayed up. Like I always have this image in my head like a creepy man is like a shadowy man. It’s going to be walking into my room, planning the kill me. I don’t know how I have that. It’s just scares me and I try to keep my door closed but I still have the thought of it for some reason. Okay. Well thanks for sharing. Yeah. Also some nights where I have like a traumatic experience. Like the first time I got my period, I um, say they’re pretty much the entire night. I hardly got any sleep affected me the next morning. So yeah, you have

Speaker 2:17:50a tendency of worrying about things a lot too. And

Speaker 3:17:53I mean like that was a pretty big thing that happened then. And like bigger things like not like homework related, but like things that happened in my life that’s going to be with me for the rest of my life have kind of put me into a position where I stay up all night.

Speaker 2:18:15Yeah. And these are stressors, you know, these are factors that cause stress and stress impacts sleep. So it’s understandable. We just have to deal with stress better and that’s all. Yeah.

Speaker 4:18:30Okay.

Speaker 2:18:31So the study goes on to look at what affects lack of sleep has on a person. And the first one, which I’m sure you’ll agree with here, is your mood. A sleep deprivation will cause teenagers to be moody, irritable and Cranky. In addition, they will have a difficult time regulating their mood, such as by getting frustrated and upset more easily.

Speaker 3:18:57I can definitely have a relation to that and I’m pretty sure you can also relate to that.

Speaker 2:19:02Well, yeah, I can. I think your mood, there’s a lot of things that affect your mood, especially as a teenager. There’s a lot of changes that are happening with your body that affect it, but lack of sleep, even when I have a lack of sleep, it affects my mood, which is why Mondays just really don’t work for me. Mondays would work much better if I could start them at 10 o’clock, basically. Monday suck. Yeah, Monday sock. So it definitely affects your mood. Now do you find if you get extra sleep, you’re in a better mood? I’m occasionally, yes. Okay,

Speaker 3:19:37good. That kind of a rarely happens now, but whenever I do get a good sleep, I asked him to be in a better mood.

Speaker 2:19:44Well, that’s why we tried to do that on the weekends because you should be in a good mood on the weekends. So the next thing that they talk about his behavior, uh, they go on, the sea of the teenagers are sleep deprived, who are sleep deprived, are also more likely to engage in risk taking behavior such as drinking, driving fast and gauging and other dangerous activities. Do you feel a sense of need to be dangerous when you are sleep deprived? Nope. Not at all. Do you behave differently when you’re sleep deprived?

Speaker 3:20:21Like if, like I got a good sleep hours, like happy and having fun with my friends, but if I, but if I wasn’t, if I didn’t get a good sleep, I would just be miserable the entire day. And I’m like, get this day over.

Speaker 2:20:40And that’s largely attributed to your lack of sleep or other factors?

Speaker 3:20:45Well, I think sometimes with my life asleep, my brain works differently. Making me hate more, making me hate things more, another contributing factor to mood. But with behavior, it’s basically the effects that my mood have.

Speaker 2:21:02So you might be more likely to snap at somebody in that kind of behavior. Anyone’s. Yeah. Okay. So number three on their list of effect is your cognitive ability. Uh, inadequate sleep will result in problems with attention, memory, decision making, reaction time and creativity, all of which are important to school. Do you feel any of those things are impaired as a result of lack of sleep?

Speaker 3:21:32Well, sometimes my attention is affected. Like if I don’t get a lot of sleep, like, I mean I would look at the teacher, I had listened to them and then eventually I kind of get a little tired of it and I liked sort of board, but I’d still listen to them because, well, I’m in school and I should do that. I mean, it’s not like I lose attention completely. I just feel calm. I just feel bored out of nowhere.

Speaker 2:21:55Yeah. And I, and I encountered the same thing. If I don’t get enough sleep, I tend to zone out more than I normally would. I find it hard to concentrate. My memory is worse than it usually is. You know, it’s pretty bad to begin with.

Speaker 3:22:11Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t say my memory is to changed. I mean, sometimes when I don’t get a good sleep, I don’t really remember too much from the last day. And I just like come to new repeating. But like if I got a good sleep the next like the next day, I’d be perfectly fine.

Speaker 2:22:29Right. Well, the last thing on this list is academic performance. Studies show that teenagers who get less sleep are more apt to get poor grades in school, fall asleep in school, and have school tardiness or absences, tardiness as lateness for school. So obviously you’re bringing home straight A’s. So any sleep deprivation you have isn’t effecting that. Um, do you fall asleep in school?

Speaker 3:22:57I mean, like I said before, I kind of get bored. I mean, I kind of have, my eyes were droopy. I’ve never fallen asleep in school because, well, I don’t really sleep that well. So it kind of impossible to begin with.

Speaker 2:23:12Understood. Yeah. And they don’t think it’s affecting. And, and this is one of the reasons why I don’t think you’re really suffering from sleep deprivation. It, uh, everybody does. Nobody gets enough sleep unless you’re probably older and retired. I don’t think you’re suffering too much, even though you are going once again here. But thank you. I hope I’m not keeping you awake.

Speaker 3:23:32Yeah. And not keeping me awake. Okay.

Speaker 2:23:42So there are some suggestions on how to sleep better. So there is hope out there. For those of you who are suffering from sleep deprivation, uh, the first one, and we sort of touched on this as consistency, they suggest getting up at the same time every day and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. This includes weekends too. So she’d get up at six o’clock or six 30 to go to school every day. You should be getting up at six 30 and keeping your body in that cycle. There’s, when you come out of that, like if you stay up late on the weekends and sleep in late, then it throws that circadian rhythm. Also Mondays it’s even harder for you to get up at your regular time at that point in time. Anything

Speaker 3:24:24thoughts on that? Well, I mean, I wake up, um, the same time every single day of the week. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I wake up slightly earlier, but normally never happened on more like five or 10 minutes earlier. Okay. Then, um, on a weekends is, or I have the chance to sleep in late or wake up early. So.

Speaker 2:24:48Well, and that’s what you’re saying is don’t do that. Stick to your regular sleep pattern cause then Monday it’ll be easier for you to get up. They also suggest taking naps when possible. You’re not much of a nap taker anymore? Nope. No. Neither are mine.

Speaker 3:25:02I mean, I really have no time to take a nap in school, so I pretty much don’t bother with naps anymore.

Speaker 2:25:08No. And what they suggest is that if you get home from school and you have a few minutes, take a nap in the early evening, but don’t take it with an hour or two of going to bed because then you’re not going to be able to sleep, uh, unplugged earlier. Turn off your devices, turn off your TV, read a book, do some art. There’s something like that. Uh, unplugging earlier allows your mind to calm. Exercise.

Speaker 3:25:33Yeah. Privately, not so much. Honestly, if I do exercise to all actually have me in a worse position for sleeping.

Speaker 2:25:42Well, they don’t want you to exercise close to bed, but the idea of exercise and burn off that energy and

Speaker 3:25:49yeah, I know like later you get a little tired and eventually you fall asleep. I get the point of that. But still not really big on the idea.

Speaker 2:25:59Avoid Caffeine and sugar at night sugars. Another one you have to avoid to

Speaker 3:26:05oh yeah. Where you didn’t really mention that before with the caffeine but

Speaker 2:26:09right. So stay away from the chocolates and you know if you’re going to do your snack or dessert after dinner, you do it shortly after dinner. Don’t want to own and so forth. Uh, they do go on to say don’t eat, drink or exercise within a few hours of bedtime. Don’t leave your homework for the last minute, which you never do. That’s never an issue for, you know, try to avoid the TV, computer and telephone in the hour before you go to bed. A stick to quiet calm activities and your fall asleep much easier if you do the same every night before you go to sleep. You teach your body the signals like a half hour before you go to bed, brush your teeth, get into your jammies and that sort of starts the internal mechanism in your brain for you to start going into that sleep cycle.

Speaker 3:26:59Okay. So clearly worthy on that process.

Speaker 2:27:02Yeah, you’re doing a good portion of, they also have to say, you know, try taking a bath or a shower to relax your body.

Speaker 3:27:07Well technically I do that every time after dinner, right. Every few nights. So

Speaker 2:27:15they also say try keeping a diary or a to do list. If you jot down notes before you go to sleep, you’ll be less likely to stay awake, worrying and stressing. And I know that something that you’ve encountered, especially with schoolwork where you tend to stress out about projects and soft, you know, write a little diary

Speaker 3:27:33pretty much. I know mommy does it.

Speaker 2:27:35She does every night and it helps her go to sleep. Yeah. So that was just the hands that we had for how to sleep better.

Speaker 4:27:49Okay.

Speaker 2:27:49So that was all we really had to talk about on sleep. I will turn it over to you my dear. For your closing remarks,

Speaker 3:27:56anyone who were sleep deprived, I would recommend trying some of the topics we just talked about. I would also recommend that if you still are sleep deprived, try to find, try to find the things that might make you sleep deprived and either stop doing them or find a controlled way to do them. And if you have no problem with sleeping, I would still like to recommend you watching this video and maybe like showing it to someone who does a problem sleeping and I feel like me and don’t have sleep deprivation but have a hard time trying to sleep. I would also advise, um, trying to get better sleep with all the things we had just talked about and to stop doing the things that might cause you to stay awake.

Speaker 2:28:47Well, sound advice. I think that’ll do it for the podcast this week. Do you want to let everyone know that you can reach our we are available on youtube, uh, insights into You can reach us on Twitter now at insights underscore things, or you can send us an

Speaker 3:29:25and please do check out our other podcasts, which is insight and entertainment, which is done with, of course, my dad and my mom.

Speaker 2:29:34All right. Thank you Madison again for your time. Another great podcast. Yeah, I would have to agree and we’ll talk everybody

Speaker 5:29:42next week.