Monday, September 17, 2007

RM column August 31st - Get to bed

RM column August 31st - Get to bed

A SUMMER of late nights, lie-ins and taking it easy have now come to an end and it is time to try and get a routine whereby the Young Wan won’t be completely wrecked getting up for school in the mornings.

Like most of us the Young Wan when allowed can sleep for Ireland, and watching late night telly hasn’t helped with the lie-ins. Course over the summer there’s no such thing as bed time anymore, well certainly not like days gone by when B.E.D would be spelt out at 9pm on the button and off she’d trot.

If I was to do that now, she’d just laugh at me.

However now school is back she will be told to get to bed at a reasonable hour, well that is the plan anyway. I am not under the illusion that she will fall asleep straight away but it is important to get the head down and chill out from the day.

Recent research in England has revealed how one in three teenagers are surviving on as little as four hours of sleep a night and are going to school exhausted.

That sounds crazy to me; how on earth are they only getting four hours sleep. But to find the answer to that we only need to look at computers, television and games.

I never really felt televisions are a good idea in bedrooms. In addition to that there was never really the room for such extras in our flat. Now that she is older I wouldn’t have the same objections but I would be annoyed if she was staying up later and later watching nonsense on the telly.

And I would also be concerned with what she is watching. If I am still changing channels with something risqué comes on, why would I give her free rein all the time in the privacy of her own room?

A quarter of the teenagers surveyed said they fell asleep while watching the TV, listening to music or with some other electronic items running.

Never mind sleep depravation, think of the carbon footprints!

A third of the 1,000 polled 12 to 16 year olds were only getting four to seven hours sleep instead of the necessary eight hours.

One of the experts behind the research, Dr Chris Idzikowski from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre said: “Teenagers need to wake up to the fact that to feel well and look well, they need to do something about their sleep.

“This is an incredibly worrying trend.

“What we are seeing is the emergence of junk sleep – that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly at school.”

Being deprived of the proper amount of sleep will leave a teenager not able to concentrate in class leading on to a poor school performance.

Not only that but teenagers release hormones essential for their growth spurts during sleep, so not getting enough sleep can make you small.

While it’s easy for me to go on here about how herself will be in bed, she’s a divil for being told to get ready for bed. She then disappears and I’ll get busy doing something else and forget about her until she reappears an hour later having gone and listened to music. Course she is neither ready for bed or indeed sleepy.

But I’m onto her, she won’t get away with that this year…

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