Good Sleep Can Help Teens Cope With Racial Bias

by Paromita Datta published on -

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A good night’s sleep can have significant benefits for a teen’s psyche. Recent research by a Michigan State University team, published in the journal Child Development found that adequate sleep helps teenagers to cope with challenging social situations. This included problem-solving, coping with racial discrimination, and seeking peer support when required.

A female teenager looking sad/depressed/thoughtful looking out of a window

Promoting adequate sleep may help adolescent adjustment in their peer group. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The team studied students in grade 9 for their research. The participants were required to wear an actigraphy watch that tracked their sleeping and awake cycles for two weeks. It also tracked their physical activity at every one-minute interval. They were asked to fill a survey every night before going to bed. The survey included questions on racial discrimination, their psychological state, and how they were coping with stress.

Significantly, they found that when the participants had a good night’s sleep, it helped them in coping with racial discrimination more effectively the next day. This was gauged by their problem-solving skills and their ability to seek out peer support. Surprisingly, they also found that peers were more important than parents when the teens needed immediate support in the face of racial discrimination.

“Understanding how sleep helps adolescents negotiate social challenges may consequently elucidate how promoting sleep may improve adolescent adjustment during high school and beyond,” said Yijie Wang, assistant professor of human development and family studies at MSU and one of the authors of the study.

 

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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