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J Sch Nurs. 1999 Aug;15(3):14-9.

The sleep needs of adolescents.

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Undergraduate Nursing Program, University of Washington, USA.


The amount of sleep affects the way adolescents perform, feel, think, learn, and remember. Significant physiological and social changes have profound effects on adolescents' sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep increases the possibility of increased daytime sleepiness, which may result in a tragic automobile or work accident. Other consequences of sleep deprivation include poor school performance, heightened risk of drug and alcohol use, increased irritability, and aggressive behavior, all of which can interfere with relationships with classmates, parents, and teachers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the literature concerning what is known about why adolescents need more sleep and why adolescents do not obtain enough sleep. Nursing interventions targeting adolescents, parents, teachers, schools, and employers are included. If adolescents understand and learn to improve their sleep patterns while they are young, they may have improved sleep habits in adulthood. Teaching adolescents about the importance of sleep is an important task for school nurses.

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