Young people sleep, a public health problem

During the week, 17-year-old Gaspard goes to bed “11:30 p.m.”. After dinner he “Finished (Her) Homework “ Where “Rest” Watching videos, series or visiting social networks. “I often stay on my phone until bedtime. But at night, I turn it off, “ This terminal reassures students.

The next morning, the young Parisian gets up “7:45 in the morning” Go to high school “At 8:10 in the morning.”. “I get up as late as possibleBut I don’t have much trouble waking up. ” He said. Gaspard is sleeping “Between 7:30 and 8:30”According to his calculations, but he knows his age must be “Need more sleep” According to the latest study, he is not the only one: According to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV), 88% of 15-24 year olds say they lack sleep.

Read. Lack of sleep among young people is a concern for health professionals

Needs, of course, vary from person to person, but during adolescence, “They are still very high.” Marie-Franোois Vechchirini, neurologist and psychiatrist, sleep pathologist. “At this age, young people should get eight to ten hours of sleep. Most do not, as the weekend sleep rebound shows. A

Adolescents experience less sleep stress

All ages of adolescence are concerned: 27% of those under 15 years of age “Sleep two hours less each night during school than on a day off”,“44% go to bed after 10pm on weekdays and 10% sleep seven hours or less” According to a survey conducted by Rescue Murphy among secondary school students in the Ile-de-France region.

The results come as no surprise to 14-year-old Anthony’s father: “At home, it’s not a fight to get him to bed, but it’s usually complicated. He admits. You have to repeat it several times in the evening, when he tells himself that he is tired. A

3 Maintenance. Among children and adolescents, “sleep helps integrate knowledge”

At this age it is normal not to want to go to bed. It’s even physiological. Adolescents experience less sleep stress. They have less desire to go to bed and more difficulty sleeping, Marie-Franোয়াois insists on Vechchirini. In addition, they have a tendency in the evening, that is, they go to bed and get up late. A Professor Claude Granfier, chronobiologist at Insaram, speaks“Mature biological clock”.“This internal clock oscillates slowly, and this slow delay delays sleep. A

The living environment can also affect sleep, when a teenager shares his room with a brother or sister, for example. But it is especially the evening activity on the screen that prevents young people from falling asleep. “After dinner, 52.6% of college students spend more than an hour in front of a screen and 18.8%, more than two hours.”According to the Morpheus Network survey. More and more teens are using their smartphones even at night “Send text message” (15%) and Connect to a social network. (11%). Some take chances “Spontaneous Awakening” (73.9%), “But 21.6% organize it from bedtime, 10.6% who plan to wake up at night.”

They are very sensitive to blue light from the screen.

The use of screens in the evening is particularly detrimental, recalls Professor Claude Granfier. “Adolescents have a very high sensitivity to light, and especially to blue-wavelength rich light provided by the screen, because their lenses are still very transparent.” He is explaining. However, this type of light is further delayed when it comes in contact with the biological clock before going to sleep. A

According to experts, the screen alone is not responsible. All sources of artificial light are concerned. When young people are exposed to natural sunlight, they are more affected, as they are often outdoors.

Archive. Does sleep and screen go together?

Psychological factors also sometimes interfere with their sleep. “With the epidemic and now the war in Ukraine, teens no longer trust adults to create a more peaceful world and this is a cause for concern.Analyzed by Mary-Rose Moro, director of Mason de Solene, a child psychiatrist. At this age, they are particularly vulnerable to this anxiety. A

Crystal, a teacher in the Paris suburbs, also made a note “Significant increase in anxiety” Among his students “About their professional future”. This has been particularly noticeable in the last two or three years, He says. With graduate reform, they have to make choices before and after and it worries them a lot. Some people tell me they have trouble sleeping and I can see that. Just this morning, one of my students fell asleep during a written test. A

Lack of sleep reduces the amount of gray matter

The incident doesn’t just affect high school students: 30% of middle school students admitted by Morpheus Network admit that “It’s hard to get up on school days” And “23% fall asleep or fall asleep in class”. Advice “Related to screen usage and delayed sleep” Moreover there is “Increased slightly in recent years”According to Dr. Ali Ahmad Rabih, the head of the sleep department at Tulun Hospital.

Sleep, parents try to frame

Adolescent fatigue becomes chronic and has consequences on their cognitive performance. Lack of sleep has led to a decline in school results, warns Stephanie Maza, a professor of neuropsychology. And even a decrease in the volume of gray matter in the brain, according to a study by Inserm. The next time young people go to bed on the weekends, the amount decreases even more, the researchers note. Sleeping is also not a good idea to compensate for the sleep debt as this delay delays further falling asleep in the following days.

Read. Lack of sleep changes the teen’s brain

Another immediate consequence: “The risk of accidents, especially for those who attend school in two-wheelers, and behavioral problems, including less effective emotional management, Note Marie-Franোois Vecchirini. In the long run, lack of sleep can also lead to depression, overweight or low immunity, and cardiovascular problems. A

How to help teens sleep

In short, the search is worrisome, and experts are talking about a real public health problem today. “Unfortunately, we don’t know enough, Claude apologizes to Granfire. Adolescents should be more aware of this, parents should be better informed and the issue of national education should be taken up, because we have a way of working. A Professionals therefore recommend a “digital curfew” at least one hour before bedtime, no television in the bedroom, physical activity, especially in the morning, ventilation of the house, bed rest, and avoid energy drinks.

According to the chronobiologist, “The most effective way to synchronize the internal clock is to open the shutters as soon as possible to expose you to natural light as soon as you wake up. He advised. InsideIn winter, you can also use a phototherapy lamp for breakfast. A Like other experts, Claude Granfire also suggested delaying the start of class. “Telling a teenager to go to school at 8 in the morning is like telling an adult to go to work at 6 in the morning.” He compares.

In that news. Since Kovid, children have spent more time in front of the screen

Anthony, a father of three, would be more inclined to do so, as he has seen well that his teenager “Trouble getting up at 7 in the morning”, But he fears that this inconsistency “Don’t force yourself to finish school too late and don’t go to bed late again”.

However, an American study has proved it “Starting class fifty minutes later has changed from ten to fifteen minutes of bedtime just the day before, Claude insists on Granfire. It’s not that the kids didn’t go to bed too late, they got thirty-five to forty minutes of sleep each night. A Which is not trivial.


The stages of sleep

Sleep follows a light sleep phase, which leads to a deep slow sleep within about twenty minutes. At this stage, which is characterized by slow and adequate waves in the electroencephalogram, it is difficult to wake the sleeping person. About ninety minutes later, REM sleep was observed. There, the cerebral activity is intense, very close to waking up, but the body is numb.

These different stages form the first cycle of sleep. A cycle lasts about ninety to one hundred minutes. A night consists of four to six cycles. The first half of sleep is rich in deep slow-wave sleep, while the second half is composed mainly of light sleep and paradoxical sleep options.

Source: Morpheus Network


3 Where to get information?

3 National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV) offers brochures for children and adolescents to download sleep content, videos, and questionnaires on their site to help parents diagnose potential disorders. Families will find information on the screen as well as ten recommendations from doctors. Website:

3 Morpheus Network, -Le-de-France is a health network that brings together professionals involved in the management of sleep disorders, as well as providing a very wide range of content on sleep for young people aged 0 to 18, as a bonus, a forum led by experts.

3 Where to consult?

First you need to see a pediatrician or family doctor. Depending on the disorder, the latter may send adolescents to a center dedicated to sleep and its pathology, approved by the French Society for Sleep Research and Medicine (SFRMS). These frameworks bring together experts and allow for more in-depth testing.

3 To read

What’s new in sleep?By Anne Le Pennec and Sylvie Royant-Parola, Editions Quae, 2018, 192 p., 19.

This book, intended for the general public, takes stock of sleep, its processes and its effects.
On health, regardless of age, with practical advice on how to better preserve and improve it.

Leave a Comment