Running on Empty: Sleeplessness in American Teens

Twenty-First Century. Apr. 2021. 112p. Tr $37.72. ISBN 9781728415765.
Gr 7 Up–It’s common knowledge that getting enough sleep is important. But why? Goldsmith, a retired nurse, offers scientific and anecdotal information on teenagers and sleep. She explores the potential consequences of inadequate sleep, from poor school performance to health problems. The author examines the science of sleep, describing the stages of sleep and the importance of dreams, and explains circadian rhythm and how hormones such as melatonin function within that cycle. The final chapters address sleep disorders, including sleepwalking and sleep apnea. Goldsmith discusses suggestions for managing these disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Throughout, readers will find stories from teens and their parents reflecting on sleep deprivation. A few anecdotes are dramatic; one describes a car accident and another the unfortunate death of a sleepwalking, sleep-deprived teen. Information is clearly written and organized. Well-placed illustrations, graphs, and photographs add visual interest.
VERDICT Recommended for any young adult conducting research on the topic of sleep deprivation or simply curious about how to get a better night’s sleep.

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