Importance of Sleep for Teens

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A good night sleep can make our days better. (15)

The average person will spend 229,961 hours sleeping in a lifetime.(1) We have all had days where we didn’t get enough sleep the night before and have felt tired and out of it that day. I am sure we all know sleep is important but just how important is it? Lack of sleep can cause physical and mental harm to ourselves yet sleep is sometimes the last thing on our minds- especially for teenagers. When your life is consumed by homework, tests, projects, maybe sport teams and other extra curricular activities, friends and family, there is not enough time in the day to get a good nights sleep, follow some of the steps below and it may just improve your sleeping habits.

The Facts

Sleep is food for the brain and is essential for our well being.(2) Getting a goods night sleep can help manage stress, especially in the busy lives of teenagers. For teenagers, it is normal to have later sleeping patterns- not being able to fall asleep early and waking up late. Teens need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night in order to function at their best, any less than 8 and teens do not preform as well as they could. With many teens having as busy lives as they do, only about 15% of teens get 8.5 hours of sleep a night. The average adolescence has a very irregular sleeping pattern- staying up late during the night and waking up early in the morning during the week and late nights and late mornings on the weekend, this can actually damage the quality of sleep teens get and affecting their performance during the day, a regular sleeping pattern has been proven to give better quality of sleep. Many teens suffer from sleeping disorders whether they know it or not. These disorders can be treatable but you need to know the signs.(3) Here are some common sleeping disorders in teens:

  • Cumbria Hypnosis sleeping problems and insomnia

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    Narcolepsy: A neurological disorder where people can not control the amount of time they sleep.(4) Typically, you fall in to a deep sleep after 90 minutes of sleeping but in narcolepsy, it happens immediately. Some symptoms are excessive daytime tiredness and sleepiness, weakness, hallucinations and sleep paralysis (inability to talk or move while falling asleep or waking up).(5)

  • Insomnia: Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Often caused by stress. Some symptoms include waking up in the night and not being able to fall back asleep, waking up earlier than usual and feeling tried when woken up.(6)

  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): A disorder in the nervous system. An uncomfortable sensation in a persons legs (can happen in arms as well), described as “pins and needles” and an “itchy” feeling and is worse when sitting or laying. (7)

 

 

Consequences for Poor Sleeping Habits

Not getting enough sleep at night can have many consequences. For one, you are not able to function as well as you could if you had a full night sleep. This can include limiting your ability to listen, learn, concentrate and think.(8) As students, this is a huge problem, if you get a bad nights sleep, it would be impossible to preform properly in class, do well on a test the upcoming day, pay attention to a lesson, the list goes on and on. One bad nights sleep may not affect you but multiple could really impact your grades and your performance in your academic life. This could also effect your extra curricular life, being tired limits your body movement and if you play sports, this would be a problem.

Lack of sleep can also affect your physical appearance. We have all noticed the purple bags under our eyes when we are tired but did you know sleep deprivation can lead to acne? (9) When you sleep in late, your skin produces more oil, resulting in acne. (10) Lack of sleep can also cause you to gain weight. (11) When you are tired, you body just wants energy, in whatever form. Your body will crave simple carbs and sugar- comfort food – to give you a spike of energy. These foods are not good for you and eating too much of them will cause you to gain weight. (12)

Sleep deprivation can also affect your mood. (13) You will be tired and drowsy but it can also make you more aggravated. You may be more aggressive than normal or over react over something small that normally wouldn’t affect you at all. If this happens to you, take it as a warning sign, make a note in your mind that you need to get more sleep that next night.

Solutions for a Better Sleeping Habit

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  • If school is causing you to lose sleep, than stay organized- keep an agenda for upcoming project and homework due dates and tests. This will keep your mind at ease and make you less stressed.

  • Avoid procrastination! Don’t leave homework till the last minute, do tasks when you have a free minute, leave time for sleep.

  • Keep a sleep diary! This will help you to realize why you sleeping quality is not the best it could be and how to change it. Here is a great template.

  • Keep your room quiet and dark. Blackout curtains work best for creating a dark sleeping area, the sun rising can cause you to wake up earlier than desired. Don’t sleep with the tv on or while listening to music.

  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, pop, sugar) before going to bed, this will interfere with a good nights sleep.

  • Make a bed time and stick to it, a regular sleep schedule will allow for better quality of sleep. (14)

Conclusion

Sleep is vital for daily performance for teens. When not experiencing enough, it shows, physically and mentally. It is important that as individuals, we are conscientious of our sleeping habits and try not to let anything interfere with it. As teens, school can overpower our lives and leave little time for sleep which is why it is important to stay organized and avoid procrastination. Below is a video that will sum up my post, thanks for reading!

Questions for You:

  • How much sleep do you get each night? Do you feel this is enough?

  • Are you tired during the day? If so, what characteristics in your life lead to you feeling this way?

  • What is one way you could improve you sleeping schedule?

  • How might a sleeping disorder interfere with ones daily life?

  • What is one way you make sure you get enough sleep?


(1) The Tempo Blog,. ‘7 time consuming things an average Joe spends on in a lifetime – The Tempo Blog’, 2013. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://blog.tempoplugin.com/2013/7-time-consuming-things-an-average-joe-spends-in-a-lifetime/.

(2) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(3) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Teens and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/teens-and-sleep.

(4) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(5) Webmd.com,. ‘What is narcolepsy, symptoms & causes – WebMD’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/narcolepsy.

(6) Webmd.com,. ‘Insomnia (Chronic and Acute Insomnia) Causes and Symptoms’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes.

(7) Webmd.com,. ‘Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and More’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.webmd.com/brain/restless-legs-syndrome/restless-legs-syndrome-rls.

(8) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(9) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(10) Porcelain, The Face Spa,. ‘How Does Sleep Deprivation Lead To Acne? – Porcelain, The Face Spa’, 2011. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://porcelainfacespa.com/how-does-sleep-deprivation-lead-to-acne/.

(11) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(12) Mann, Denise. ‘Sleep and Weight Loss: How Lack of Sleep Can Cause You to Gain Weight’. Webmd.com, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain.

(13) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(14) Sleepfoundation.org,. ‘Narcolepsy and Sleep’, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep.

(15) Mercola, Dr. ‘How Much Sleep Is “Enough”?’. Healing the Body, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.healingthebody.ca/how-much-sleep-is-enough/.

(16) Cumbria-hypnosis.com, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: http://www.cumbria-hypnosis.com/treatments-hypnotherapy-clinic/insomnia-sleeping-problems-hypnotherapy/files/Cumbria%20Hypnosis%20sleeping%20problems%20and%20insomnia.jpg.

(17) Media.giphy.com, 2015. Online. Internet. 10 May 2015. Available: https://media.giphy.com/media/Eccdry010Mj1m/giphy.gif.

34 thoughts on “Importance of Sleep for Teens

  1. this article is really cool. I enjoyed reading it a lot, however there is still on thing on my mind. That thing is would other mental problems affect your sleeping? When i say other mental problems I mean ADD or ADHD or disorders like that.

    • Thanks Ron, I read that medications taken for disorders such as ADD or ADHD can affect your sleeping patterns as well. ADHD medication can cause insomnia (a sleeping disorder) along with many other medications for other disorders.

  2. This was so well written, and it’s obvious you did lots of research on your topic, which is great to see, good job! I have recently written a post on anxiety attacks and similar things, and it reminded me while reading this that anxiety and stress are, of course, causes for lack of sleep and sleep disorders, but are a symptom as well; a person could experience stress from something in their environment or something personal, which causes them to lose sleep, which causes them to become even more stressed, etc. How would you suggest people with this problem try to fix it? Again, very well done, it was really interesting to read.

  3. This was a great post! I know I don’t get enough sleep. I get about 7.5 hours on a school night and at least 9 on a weekend. I personally find it kind of sad that we have to spend a third of our life sleeping even if it is something that is crucial. I also remember reading once that when you miss enough sleep, your body will force you to catch up on it eventually. I also read once that oversleeping causes you to feel tired as well.

    • Thanks Brianna! That’s very interesting that our body forces us to catch up on lost sleep and as I said in my post, irregular sleeping patterns actually harm our quality of sleep. You’d think our body would want to improve our quality of sleep because of how cruical it is but it seems like it is doing us more harm.

  4. G’day Emily,
    What a very informative post! I never realised sleeping too late might cause acne. You have researched this topic very well and given a great list of resources which are very reputable. Did you find any sources that were not useful and how did you decide which sources to use?

    • The sources I found were all very useful, I used the Sleep Foundation website for most of my research because it was credible and had a lot of good, useful information.

  5. Great post! Another suggestion to promote sleep is to get excited about it! I personally have been trying to get into lucid dreaming(realizing/controlling dreams) and I’ve been really eager to get to bed!

    • Thanks! That’s very interesting and I have read about lucid dreaming before. Personally, I think it sounds pretty creepy and I think it would be very freaky to try. Have you had any results?

  6. Your post is awesome and very well written. Unfortunately, I usually get 5 to 6 hours of sleep each night (if I’m lucky enough). I never feel that it is enough and I always feel like it’s holding me from my full potential. I’m tired most of the day due to lack of sleep. What keeps me up is school. I’m always stressed, I have a lot of work to do, and I never seem to find time to play. I could improve my sleep by setting a regular sleep time and cutting the caffeine before sleeping. I found this post very informant and useful. Thank you.

  7. I really like the topic you chose its one almost every student could relate to especially me.I sleep about 6-7 hours a night on average only because i have so much to do,i feel like its not enough because you think there’s something else to be done.I do though have those times where i would get home and just sleep for 11 hours which feels AMAZING.It depends on the day if im doing gym or something active i don’t feel tired but the minute it starts getting “boring” i start to get tired.School is a major reason why i feel this way because i always have something to do or finish.I think I could improve it by getting everything done right away so I don’t have to worry about it and either have extra time to sleep or relax. Having a disorder would affect my daily life in a huge way ,if i had something like Insomnia it would make me angry if i didn’t get the sleep and i would most likely put that anger towards others and if the stress got worse it would affect me a lot not only physically but emotionally.

    • Thanks, I know what you mean about getting tired when bored. For me, I’m bored while doing my homework and then I am tired and don’t want to finish. It’s an endless cycle of tiredness and procrastination.

  8. Wow Emily! Excellent post, you researched a lot and worked hard. One thing that you should change is in the “Solutions for a Better Sleeping Habit” you wrote “loose” instead of “lose.”
    To answer your questions,
    How much sleep do you get each night? Do you feel this is enough?
    I usually sleep around 12am and wake up at 7-7:30. Occasionally, I sleep at 11pm, and rarely I sleep at 1am when I have a lot of work to do. I can function well but I prefer to sleep at 11pm and get a recommended 8 hours of rest at night.
    Are you tired during the day? If so, what characteristics in your life lead to you feeling this way?
    I am sometimes tired, and other times I feel just fine. I feel easily annoyed and pessimistic when I do not get enough sleep. This is because I don’t feel like I am ready for the day, and I get lazy. However, when I do get enough sleep, I feel optimistic and ready for the day!
    What is one way you could improve you sleeping schedule?
    One way to improve my sleeping schedule is avoiding technology before I go to bed because it is a major distraction which makes me lose sleep.
    How might a sleeping disorder interfere with ones daily life?
    A sleeping disorder could interfere with someone’s daily life because they won’t be able to fully function and complete daily tasks and challenges.
    What is one way you make sure you get enough sleep?
    As I said before, avoid my cellphone/watching television before going to bed.

  9. Good topic Emily. I usually get about 6-7 hours of sleep at night. I feel that no matter how long I sleep for, I’ll always end up waking up tired or having a nap in the afternoon. I think one way of improving my sleep schedule is to cut off all electronics an hour prior to sleep. That way you’ll get bored and then go to sleep faster. Also, one could sleep at the same time everyday so that your body is accustomed to the schedule. Overall, I really liked this post, Emily.

    • Thanks Adam, those are some good points about getting a better sleep and it is proven that the use of electronics before bed will impact your sleeping quality negatively.

  10. As a teen who gets probably only about 6 hours a night this post really is prevalent in my life. I really enjoyed the post and as I read through it I for once didn’t see any spelling or grammatical errors. I have nothing else to say but thanks for the enlightenment.

  11. This is a great topic, it has allowed me to reflect on my own sleeping patterns and choices. Personally, I sleep for seven and a half hours each night. Usually, I find that I am not tired during the day, I feel that my brain and body is used to the amount of sleep I get. I could improve my sleeping schedule by choosing an earlier bed time, and forming the habit of going to sleep at the set time. I make sure to sleep for the amount of time my body requires by prioritizing my work load. By finishing the most important tasks first, I am able to go to sleep on time and leave any incomplete activities to a later date.

    Although this is a well-written post, I would recommend rereading and editing. Some corrections that you could make include adding commas to these sentences, “I am sure we all know sleep is important but just how important is it? Lack of sleep can cause physical and mental harm to ourselves yet sleep is sometimes the last thing on our minds- especially for teenagers.” Provide captions to your images as well, this would explain them to the reader and make them more interesting.

    I definitely learned many new things from your post. I always knew that getting enough sleep was important, but this post has emphasized the significance.

  12. Wonderful site. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your effort!

  13. Great blog post, and it’s on something that affects almost every single high school student! There’s lots of research done, as evident by the list of referenced websites. There’s also a good amount of media elements.

    How much sleep do you get each night? Do you feel this is enough?
    I go to sleep between 10:00 and 12:00 pm and wake up on school days at 6:00 am. Although biologically that might be enough, I feel as though that’s a good amount for me, as I usually have much to do during weekdays.

    Are you tired during the day? If so, what characteristics in your life lead to you feeling this way?
    No, not usually. I usually get tired by the time I get to French class, but I doubt that’s because of sleep deprivation!

    What is one way you could improve you sleeping schedule?
    Doing as much work at school as possible limits the time spent on homework at home. This can have a big and positive impact on your sleep schedule.

    How might a sleeping disorder interfere with ones daily life?
    The amount of sleep you get is important for the majority of people’s daily life, and having a sleeping disorder can ruin your life.

    What is one way you make sure you get enough sleep?
    As said previously, doing homework early is an option, as well as staying away from social media late at night.

  14. Great post, Emily. I do agree that sleep is important to not just teens but to everyone. Great amount of research and relatability to teens, who seemed to be the audience. Now to the questions:

    How much sleep do you get each night? Do you feel this is enough?
    I sleep at 11:30pm on an average night but I might go to 12-1am if I have a lot of homework to finish. I sleep until 7:30am so I get 8 hours of sleep on an average night. I feel this is enough if I am not busy with things to do.

    Are you tired during the day? If so, what characteristics in your life lead to you feeling this way?
    I am not tired most days of the week, unless I sleep too late and don’t get enough sleep. The biggest characteristic that lead me to this would have to be the amount of school work I have to finish.

    What is one way you could improve you sleeping schedule?
    One way that I could improve my sleeping schedule would be to avoid technology like my computer or phone before I go to sleep because they tend to distract be from sleeping causing me to sleep less.

    How might a sleeping disorder interfere with ones daily life?
    Without proper sleep, a person cannot do simple tasks as effectively and simply as they normally would such as school and work.

    What is one way you make sure you get enough sleep?
    One way to make sure that ou get enough sleep is to do all your daily tasks as soon as possible so you have more free time at night to sleep.

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