Parents Influence Sleep Habits In Teens

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Parents Influence Sleep Habits In Teens
In Photo: Girls stand in a dorm at the shelter for underage immigrants. Reuters

Sleep habits in teenagers are influenced by their parents, says a study carried out at the University of California in Los Angeles, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The adolescent’s sleeping patterns are more likely set by the parent’s sleeping hours, bedtime and wake up time, say the researchers.

Accidents, obesity, substance abuse and many other health problems in school children are related to lack of sleep, said the researchers. Teen’s sleep could be improved by regulating parents’ and other family member’s sleep routines, added the researchers.

The study involved 336 pairs of teens and parents, aged an average of 15 and 42, respectively. About 81 percent of mothers were reported to have emigrated from Mexico and 87 percent of teen were born in the US, and both the American and Mexican families usually emphasised family togetherness.  But the role of togetherness in sleep habits of teen and parents were unknown, said the researchers.

The parents-teen relationships were assessed by documenting sleep habits and daily routine of the parents and teen nightly for two weeks in a year for about two years. Teen slept for about 8.6 hours on non-school nights and half an hour less on school nights, whereas, the parents slept 17 minutes lesser than the teen on school nights. Though parents and teens did not go to bed at the same time, the similarity in the sleep patterns didn’t seem to change.

If the parents went late to bed, the teen also went late to bed; variability in the parent’s bedtime was more closely related to the variability in teen bedtime. In spite of factors such as studies in teen’s routine, there was a strong association of teen’s sleep habits with that of their parents’, said the researchers. There was also a strong relation in parents-teen sleep habits in large families that provided good parental support, added the researchers.

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