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Lack of Sleep Can Be Deadly to Your Kids

Getting enough sleep is critical to maintain optimal health. Unfortunately, most of us aren't getting nearly enough of it. The "reward" for ignoring this problem -- an increased risk of developing diabetes and an acceleration of the aging process. Then, think about your teens who typically run like crazy, burning the candle at both ends between school, friends and work. Can you imagine what this sleep depravation will do to your kids?

Folks it could be deadly, according to a new study that shows adolescents who do not get enough sleep may be more likely to have suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide than their more well-rested peers. Such suicidal behavior is also evident among those who experience frequent nightmares, according to a study of young Chinese people.

While adults need eight hours of sleep on average, experts recommend that adolescents -- whose bodies undergo big growth spurts and hormonal changes -- sleep at least nine hours every night, scientists said. Yet many teenagers get far less sleep than they should, which, studies show, affects their thinking, concentration, school performance and behavior. It is also known that suicide risk increases during adolescence.

Researchers analyzed survey responses from 1,362 students from three junior and two senior high schools in a rural area of a province in eastern China. The students were asked about their sleep patterns and problems and their suicidal behavior. Nearly 20 percent of the students said they had thought about killing themselves, and 10.5 percent admitted attempting suicide at some point during the previous six months.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you and your teens can to take to prove your sleep:

  • My current favorite for insomnia is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn this gentle tapping technique in several minutes. EFT can help balance your body's bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to the insomnia at a very deep level.
  • Avoid snacks before bed, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep.
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. When light hits the eyes, it disrupts the circadian rhythm of the pineal gland and production of melatonin and seratonin. There also should be as little light in the bathroom as possible if you get up in the middle of the night.
  • No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even out of the house completely.

Yahoo News October 22, 2004

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