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Poor self-regulation among Teens strongly associated with when one Sleeps: Study

Nearly 22 per cent of the students reported sleeping less than seven hours on school nights

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New York, November 6, 2016: Poor self-regulation among teens is strongly associated with when one sleeps in relation to their body’s natural circadian rhythm, finds a study.

According to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, daytime sleepiness and being a night owl appear to be more strongly associated with poor self-regulation.

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“The results of this study suggest it is not how long you sleep that has the biggest impact on self-regulation, but when you sleep in relation to the body’s natural circadian rhythms and how impaired you are by sleepiness,” said Judith Owens, Director of the Sleep Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, US.

The researchers analysed 2,017 surveys completed by 7th to 12th graders from 19 middle and high schools, where students completed questionnaires about sleep and self-regulation, including cognitive aspects, behavioural aspect and emotional aspects.

Nearly 22 per cent of the students reported sleeping less than seven hours on school nights.

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Sleep duration, daytime sleepiness and chronotype were clearly interconnected — night owls slept less on school nights and were subsequently sleepier in the daytime, as were those who slept for fewer hours.

But when the researchers examined all three aspects of sleep and adjusted for age, socio-demographic factors and mental health conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and anxiety, it was daytime sleepiness and “night owl” tendencies that independently predicted impaired self-regulation — while sleep duration did not.

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Sleepier adolescents reported significantly worse self-regulation, as did teens who tended to be “night owls” rather than “morning larks”.

The findings held for all types of self-regulation but were most robust for cognitive and emotional aspects.

“The misalignment or mismatch between early school start times and teens’ circadian rhythms — which normally shift later with puberty — may worsen self-regulation or so-called executive functioning,” Owens added. (IANS)

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Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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cannabis flower marijuana

While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)