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Assessment What the Research Says

Sleep Helps Teenagers Cope With Discrimination-Based Stress

By Christina A. Samuels — March 17, 2020 1 min read

Teenagers who have a decent night’s sleep cope better with stress the next day, including seeking support from friends and trying to solve problems rather than brooding.

The study in the journal Child Development, based on the activity and sleep patterns of around 250 high school freshmen in New York City, also offers insight into the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination on youths: All the students involved were Asian, black, or Latino, and they were asked to track instances when they felt they were subject to discrimination and their well-being in the aftermath of those events.

On days when the teenagers had longer and higher-quality sleep, they reported being more likely to report after an incident of racial or ethnic discrimination that they “tried to find something good in the situation or something I had learned,” “reminded myself that this feeling would go away,” or “thought of a way to make my problem better.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 18, 2020 edition of Education Week as Sleep Helps Teenagers Cope With Discrimination-Based Stress

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