Sleeping Aids for Injury Prevention
Sleeping and snoring medical supplies could help prevent injury-related risk behaviors among high school students, such as infrequent bicycle helmet and car seatbelt use, riding with a drinking driver, drinking and driving, and texting while driving – what, no drinking and dialing? According to a recent CDC report, “insufficient sleep is common among high school students and has been associated with an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, and occupational injuries.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8 to 10 hours of sleep for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 years. This can be achieved with good sleep hygiene (more on that later).
Additionally, medical supplies such as bed wedges and orthopedic pillows might also help do the trick. That is, they might be used – per a doctor’s indications – to complement the Foundation’s recommendations to counter sleep deprivation, which include the following:
· Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day both during the school week and weekends.
· Minimizing light exposure in the evenings.
· Keeping computers and other electronic devices out of the bedroom.
Moreover, parents can help by:
· Setting bedtimes.
· Limiting when and where their teenagers can use electronic devices.
At least one previous study has suggested “that early start times impede middle and high school students’ ability to get sufficient sleep” and put forward the notion of delaying school start times as a means of promoting “more school night total sleep, less daytime sleepiness, decreased tardiness rates, improved academic performance, and better performance on computerized attention tasks.”
The CDC analyzed data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 2007-2013, which encompassed more than 50,000 high school students in grades 9 to 12. These were some of the findings:
· Reported sleep duration during an average school night was ≤4 hours for 6.3% of respondents, 5 hours (10.5%), 6 hours (21.9%), 7 hours (30.1%), 8 hours (23.5%), 9 hours (5.8%), and ≥10 hours (1.8%).
· Sleep duration varied by gender, grade, and race/ethnicity.
· Girls reported a higher prevalence of insufficient sleep than did boys (71.3% versus 66.4%).
· The percentage reporting insufficient sleep ranged from 59.7% of students in 9th grade to 76.6% in 12th grade.
· Among racial/ethnic groups, the prevalence of insufficient sleep was lowest for American Indian/Alaska Native students (60.3%) and highest for Asian students (75.7%).
· Overall, 86.1% of students reported infrequent bicycle helmet use and 8.7% reported infrequent seatbelt use.
· 26% of students reported riding with a drinking driver at least once during the past 30 days; 8.9% reported drinking and driving; and 30.3% reported texting while driving during the previous 30 days.
· Unadjusted prevalence of all five injury-related risk behaviors varied by sleep duration.
· The likelihood of each of the five risk behaviors was significantly higher among students with sleep durations ≤7 hours; infrequent seatbelt use, riding with drinking driver, and drinking and driving were also more likely among students reporting sleeping ≥10 hours compared with 9 hours.
· The likelihood of drinking and driving was also meaningfully higher among students who slept 8 hours compared to 9 hours.
“I thought that was really, really surprising and just really worrying,” lead researcher Anne Wheaton of the CDC said. “The failure of most high school students to get sufficient sleep may put them at increased risk for unintentional injuries.”