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Walk into any first-period high school classroom and you'll see the problem immediately: most of the kids are either staring vacantly ahead and yawning, have their heads down on their desks, or have dozed off completely.

Teenagers are exhausted. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic that has swept through the lives of the more than 41,000,000 adolescents in the U.S.

 But it's not just their grades and school performance that are suffering from their extreme fatigue. Lack of sleep does result in impaired memory, inability to focus, and inability to think clearly: studies show that students who receive C's, D's, and F's go to sleep later and have less regular sleep patterns than those who get A's and B's. But in addition to negatively impacting learning and grades, sleep deprivation has now been found to affect nearly every other crucial aspect of teenagers' lives:  

            • Their health
            • Their emotional stability
            • Their behavior
            • Their ability to make good decisions
            • Their sports performance
            • Their growth
            • Their weight
            • The condition of their skin
            • Their risk of injury
            • Their mood
            • Their likelihood to use stimulants such as nicotine and alcohol

Recent studies show that:

* Fifty-five percent of car crashes that result from driver drowsiness are caused by drivers who are 25 or younger.
* Female high school students who go to sleep two or more hours later on the weekend than on weekdays report feeling more depressed than those who don't stay up later on the weekends.
* Students just leaving middle school and beginning high school who sleep less and go to sleep later display more aggressive behavior than those who get more sleep.
* Sleep deprivation increases the likelihood that teens will use nicotine and alcohol.
* Teens who don't get enough sleep are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity, as well as for suicide.

If sleep is so important, why aren't teens getting enough of it?
For years, everything from acne to moodiness to strange and downright scary teen behavior has been blamed on raging hormones. The chemicals that surge with puberty do, of course, strongly affect adolescents from causing them to grow taller and hairier to revving their reproductive organs into overdrive to adding weight and muscle to making them the slave of boomeranging emotions. We've also seen that family problems, physical and psychological conditions, learning issues, heredity, the friends they hang out with and the environment and culture they live in can also cause teenagers to act and feel and look less than their best.
But sleep ('the right amount and the right kind of it') has not, until now, been known to affect teens so widely and crucially and be a cornerstone of their overall success and well-being. Parents of infants have always known how important sleep is for their children to grow and flourish'and for everyone in the family to be happier, healthier, and less stressed. But parents of teens, and teens themselves, are not aware of how important sleep is to adolescents. With their lives already overcrowded with school, jobs, activities, friends, chores, and a slew of electronic devices that keep them communicating and entertained at all hours of the day and night, sleep simply is not a priority for teens. Compounding the problem, research now tells us that teens' brains are actually wired to send sleep signals later at night and wake-up cues later in the day than those of children and adults, putting teens in a natural sleep pattern that just doesn't work with the typical school day.
Snooze. . . or Lose!: 10 'No-War' Ways to Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits for Optimum Health, Learning, and Living will be the first mainstream book specifically for teens and the adults who care for them about the extraordinary role sleep plays in teens' lives and how to help teens get the sleep they require'without turning their home into a battlefield. Written in a lively and down-to-earth style, with lots of tips and advice from teens themselves, the book will help parents and kids work out a realistic and manageable sleep program. Snooze. . .or Lose! will be the go-to guide not only for getting a good night's sleep but for creating an environment in which teens can thrive.
Snooze. . .or Lose! will cover all the areas critical to understanding, promoting, and obtaining the right amount and the best kind of sleep for teen success. The book will discuss:

* Why teens stay up all night and sleep all day
* The amazing ways in which the teenage brain differs from the child's brain and the adult's brain
* Why teens need at least nine hours of good, regular sleep every night
* How lack of sleep can result in everything from the conditions mentioned above to increased stress and frequent headaches
* Exactly what sleep is and what it does for our bodies'in easy-to-understand terms
* How getting'or not getting'enough sleep directly affects learning
* What Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is, why teens naturally suffer from it, and how to manage it
* How today's overscheduled, oversocial teens find adequate sleep hard to come by, and how kids heavily involved in activities are at even greater risk for the negative impacts of sleeplessness
* How our middle schools and high schools' early start times add to teens' sleep deprivation and result in lower grades
* How to determine if your teen is falling off the sleepiness scale
* How parents and teens can work together to establish sleep goals and a sleep schedule they all can live with'including do's and don'ts for making sleep a priority
* The 10 No-War Ways to Improve Teen Sleep Habits
* What to do to reset stubborn internal clocks
* What true sleep disorders are, how to spot them, and where to get help
* The serious problems that can accompany lack of sleep, including depression, being suicidal, ADHD, diabetes, and frequent infections, and how to recognize them and get them treated
* The importance of healthy parent role models
* The importance of helping pre-teens develop good sleep habits
* How to support more and better teen sleep by making positive changes at home and in the community
In addition to providing the latest information on all of these topics gathered from both scientific research and the author's experience and practice the book will include anecdotes and stories from real-life teens, especially Dr. Emsellem's daughter Elyssa, that will show teen readers how they too can successfully handle sleep issues.
Getting enough sleep is a huge problem for many. But it's especially difficult for teens as well as especially critical to their success. Snooze. . .or Lose!, by Dr. Helene Emsellem, M.D., the recognized authority on teen sleep and the director of the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Maryland, will show not only teens but their parents, grandparents, teachers, and care providers how teens can get what they absolutely need for optimum health, learning, and living.

 | Buy Snooze or Lose     Copyright 2006