Windsor

Tired teens tour clinic to learn about sleep hygiene

Sleepy high school students shuffled into a Windsor sleep clinic Friday to find out what most of them already knew — they aren't getting enough sleep.

Teenagers need about 8-10 hours of shut eye per day, but many get less

High school students try out a sleep apnea machine at the Windsor Sleep Disorders Clinic. the students learned about sleep hygiene and will make a plan to educate their classmates about it. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

Sluggish high school students shuffled into a Windsor sleep clinic Friday to find out what most of them already knew — they aren't getting enough sleep. 

Grade 11 Kingsville High School student Kiana Buzek said she's well aware she's not getting enough sleep, and so are her friends. But they aren't sure what to do about it. 

"We're always under a lot of stress. We feel like 'Oh yeah it's because of all this homework.' But we don't know how to time manage," she said. "I feel like I'm always drained out. I feel like I am way too busy to keep up with my sleep habits."

Buzek isn't the only one with the problem. 

Emme Zanuttini, left, and Shea Sorrell both admit they don't get enough sleep. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

Most of the tired teens who attended the learning opportunity at the Windsor Sleep Disorders Clinic all had the same thing to say about waking up in the morning — "It's awful."

What's enough?

Sleep Time Recommendations

  • Newborns 0-3 months: 14-17 hrs
  • Infants 4-11 months: 12-15 hrs
  • Toddlers 1-2 years: 11-14 hrs
  • Preschoolers 3-5 years: 10-13 hrs
  • Children 6-13: 9-11 hrs
  • Teenagers 14-17: 8-10 hrs
  • Young adults 18-25: 7-9 hrs
  • Adults 26-64: 7-9 hrs
  • Older adults 65+: 7-8 hrs

The majority of the 40 students in attendance all said they got the same amount of sleep. But when it came to knowing how much they actually require, many of them didn't know. 

Grade 11 students Shea Sorrell and Emme Zanuttini both said they get about seven hours each night.

"It's like I can't get up. My alarm goes off and sometimes I can get up but other times I just lay there until I have to get up," said Sorrell.

"I'm dead in the morning. I wake up to an alarm and press snooze," said Zanuttini.

Students heard that teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each day. They also learned that without the proper amounts they could experience negative effects on their cognitive performance, mood, or even weight fluctuations. ​

Too much tech

Students also heard that when it came to bedtime, it's best to turn off the tech. 

Students watch a seminar about sleep apnea at the sleep clinic. Many in the room admitted they were tired. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

Krysta Brosseau is a teacher consultant for the Greater Essex County District School Board's Specialist High Skills Major Program. She organized the learning day, but also has experience with kids of her own. 

It is a battle and it's not an easy thing because phones for our teenagers are like another appendage.- Krysta Brosseau, teacher consultant

"As wonderful as technology can be, you need to be really mindful for how you use it and it might be impacting your overall wellness," she said.

Brosseau recommends setting boundaries around phones and other devices early with kids. She understands the difficulties, but said it's better for kids' sleep. 

Krysta Brosseau organized the students' trip to the sleep clinic. As a mother of four, she knows the struggle of setting bedtime boundaries. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

"I think we need to empower our parents — these are our kids and you're actually taking care of them when you set strict rules like that. It is a battle and it's not an easy thing because phones for our teenagers are like another appendage."

Students helping students sleep

The teens will take what they have learned from the sleep clinic and develop a plan for their schoolmates on how to improve their own sleep hygiene. 

"We're going to brainstorm with them, get some feedback about what he message should be, and how do we get that message effectively to our students," said Brosseau. "We look forward to hearing their solutions."

About the Author

Kaitie Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Kaitie Fraser is a reporter at CBC Windsor. Email Kaitie.Fraser@cbc.ca