Reality Scoop: Importance of Sleep for Teens

Sleep is so important for teens because they are always on the go with school, sports, projects, and the many activities in their lives.  Ever notice how sleepy they are too?  It’s almost as though they are going through life clamoring for more sleep.  Research from the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center shows that most teens can’t get enough sleep.  They are at an important stage in their growth and development and they need more sleep than grown ups.  According to the Sleep Disorder Center, the average teen should get at least nine of hours of sleep to feel sharp and rested the next day.  Take into consideration that there are different factors that can keep teens from having ample time for sleeping.  Some causes that may cause teens to lose sleep are:

  • Changes in their bodies
  • Overloaded schedules
  • Exertive social lives
  • Confused perspective of sleep

The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences & Medicine has done extensive evaluations of teens with sleep problems.  Their conclusion is that teens that have issues with sleep have had these problems long before they were teens.  Unfortunately, the sleep patterns of teens are usually very set and it is hard for them to increase sleep.  Therefore, these issues with sleep can progress into their adulthood.

reality scoop- importance of sleep for teens
CC image via Flickr user Lucas Arrrrgh


Statistics from the National Sleep Foundation show surprising information on teens:

  • Teens need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night to function best during the day.  Only 15% of teens reported sleeping at least 8 hours on school nights.
  • Teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns and typically stay up late and sleep in late on weekends, which can damage the quality of their sleep patterns.
  • Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia, or sleep apnea.

Here are a few things that can help teens to try and fit in a bit more sleep into their schedules:

  • Turn off all electronic devices before going to sleep Electronic screens emit a glow called “blue light” at a particular frequency that sends “a signal to the brain which suppresses the production of melatonin and keeps teens from feeling tired.
  • Stay away from caffeine and snacks before bedtime.  These can harmfully postpone sleep.
  • Relieve pressure by reducing daily activities.
  • Streamline morning schedule to allow for more sleep time.
  • Work on assignments more productively by taking breaks and cut work into smaller pieces.

Here are a few realistic young adult fiction books that focus on teens with sleep disorders or problems with sleep and how it affects their lives and the people around them. Continue reading Reality Scoop: Importance of Sleep for Teens