Teenagers and Sleep

Sleeping does to the brain what food does to the body. It fuels and replenishes it. If you were to starve your body of food and water there would be serious consequences, and ultimately death. This is the same for sleep and your brain. Getting behind on your sleep results in poor performance, moodiness and will affect your outward appearance negatively. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can lead to accidents, illnesses and injuries. It is important to make sure that your body and brain is getting the sleep that it requires.

Teenagers need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. This however, does not usually happen. Most studies show that only 15 percent of teens are actually getting the 8 to 10 hours. Teenagers also are more likely to have irregular sleep habits. Usually weekends are spent staying up later and sleeping in longer. This can actually have a negative affect on their biological clock and will weaken their quality of sleep. Many teenagers are suffering with sleep disorders that are treatable, but they just don’t know they are experiencing them. Narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea are a few common ones that are treatable.

When teenagers are not getting enough sleep they have difficulty listening, concentrating, learning and solving problems. It is also common that important information can be forgotten, such as names, numbers, homework, special occasions. It may seem silly that these things can be forgotten, but when the brain isn’t getting the sleep is required, it is the reality. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to increased acne. You may become more aggressive, and become impatient with friends, family, or teachers. When you are lacking sleep you will tend to eat foods that are unhealthy, such as sweets and fried foods. Eating these types of foods frequently will eventually lead to weight gain. In order to avoid these negative side effects of being sleep deprived, there are a few solutions to try to implement in your life. Remember, sleep is such an important part of your day to day routine.

Make sleep a priority! There will be changes that will have to be made to ensure that you get the adequate amount of sleep required. But do those changes! Your body and mind will thank you for it. Consuming caffeine close to your bedtime will hurt your sleep. You should avoid coffee, tea, soda and even chocolate late in the day. Nicotine and alcohol should also be avoided later in the day, as these too are triggers for staying awake. It is important to establish a sleep and wake cycle and stick to it. Even on the weekends. Life does happen, and you should be able to experience life to the fullest, but just being aware of your sleep and wake cycles and trying to follow them as closely as possible will help you feel less tired. When your body is put on a consistent schedule it is able to get in sync with its natural sleeping patterns, which will make it easier to fall asleep and wake up.

The teenage years are an important time for growing and learning. You want to make sure your body and mind are at their prime. You are learning how to be an adult and making choices that will affect you for years to come. Remember that it is so important to allow your body and mind to get the rest that it needs and deserves.