Teens are so full of life, big dreams, and great actions – they are everything that humans tend to be: free, fast to react, and packed with big ideas that are just waiting to come true.
On top of that, they are also very… sleepy.
Teenagers have so much to deal with while growing up and it comes as no surprise that they tend to sleep less.
After all, they’re dealing with school, love issues, various anxiety issues, hidden depression, various anxiety forms, exams, and so on, that their day simply isn’t long enough.
As humans we need a certain amount of sleep based on our age, to provide what our bodies need and get needed rest.
Each person has their own need for sleep, and it will always vary from person to person.
Teens are in delicate years, and as such, they are in a highly important stage of their growth and development – as such they need fair more sleep than adults need.
So, how much sleep do teens need? As a general rule, teens need about nine hours of sleep each night to get enough rest and stay alert.
There are many factors that affect teens and their need to get enough sleep. These factors may include the following:
- Busy schedules
- Active social time
- Not having enough knowledge of sleep importance
- Rapidly changing bodies
- School and after-school activities
Teens tend to experience first sleep problems before they turn 13. Body changes start happening at the age of 10 and with the sleep habits change as well.
Plus, teens have their own sleep schedules, and it’s not easy for them to suddenly move to another schedule.
Sometimes, especially when you’re a teen, it’s hard to listen to your body needs and to do when your body needs you to do.
The biggest issue with the teen sleeping schedules is that these issues can easily continue well into their years as adults. For these reasons, any sleep problems in teen years can easily be seen up to 25 years of age.
The Need For Sleep In Teens
We all know that teens love to label themselves as ‘night owls’, spend time outside when is dark, and in general spend an entire day doing nothing but sleeping.
Teens aren’t originally angry with the world, they are in fact just sleepy. Teens experience a natural shift in circadian rhythm, which leads to mood changes and sudden behavioral issues.
These changes mean that it takes more for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
Add to that many obligations that they have, homework, extracurricular activities, and sometimes a part-time job, and sleep deprivation becomes an everyday thing. This is why parents have such an important role in teen ages and their sleeping habits.
Teenagers are going through a second developmental stage of cognitive maturation which means that additional sleep support is mandatory in their ages for their brain to develop properly.
Plus, proper and regular sleep keeps everyone from serious consequences like depression or drug use. Both parents and teens need to take sleep seriously.
This can be easily done, by modeling and respecting good sleep habits, such as:
- Regular bedtime hours, even on weekends
- Identical sleep schedule on school days, and on weekends
- Cutting on caffeines
- Drinking tea that promotes sleep
- Regular exercises
Teenagers and Sleep: Help Them Get What They Need
Puberty can be much easier when parents are involved. It’s up to parents to provide needed guidance, strength, and solutions.
It all comes down to small changes that can improve someone’s life and keep order in the house.
Here is how you can help your teenager sleep better:
- Have a checkup. Pediatricians are much more than doctors, they are educators as well. Your pediatrician can educate teens on sleeping habits, why sleep is important, how they can get enough sleep, what are helahty sleep habits. Pediatricians can even check them for common teen sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and circadian rhythm disorders.
- Soak up the sun. It’s important to get as much sunshine as possible. Having breakfast outside in the sun is much more beneficial to your body than having it inside your living room, or any other place where there is no sun.
- Talk about potential accidents. It’s important to talk with teenagers about potential dangers that lack of sleep may lead to. Sleep deprivation both in teens and adults can lead to accidents. Moreover, sleep deprivation may lead to car accidents. For example, you can set house rule: if your teenager ot teenagers dont get enough sleep, they cannot drive to school. This is a great way to reward them, and also acknowledge real risks. Being well-rested in traffic is crucial both for teenage drivers and those surrounding them.
Should You Cut The Tech?
Let’s face it – we are people of technology. No matter how often you scroll through the web, or how frequently you text, you still need gadgets to stay connected with others.
Teenagers are no different. If anything that are tech-savvy and thrives in the digital area. Can tech disturb their sleep and mess with tehir sleeping schedule? In fact, yes.
Scrolling can be addictive and one may spend hours on tehir phone without realizing so. Talk with your children about tech rules, and implement some rules in your home, like no phones during dinner time, have a tech-free family area, and if needed cut technology usage after some hour at night.
The light that technology emits can trick the body – in fact, artificial light suppresses the body’s production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it tougher to fall asleep.
Don’t cut technology overnight, but rather choose to discuss technology usage with your children and find together the best possible solution.
Teenagers and youngsters tend to steps outside their sleeping schedule when summer break starts. It’s just how it goes. Since this is something that you can predict, you should make sure they don’t push bedtime too far past the one they had during the school year.
Teenagers whose schedules shift enormously may have a harder time returning to an appropriate school sleep schedule. In fact, they may experience problems such as moodiness and excessive daytime sleepiness once the school year starts again.
The Bottom Line
Teenagers love to band the rules a bit and act like adults. Still, they are children and certain things shouldn’t be ignored like their sleep.
Teenagers need to sleep more than adults do, and if they miss their precious sleeping time, you can expect to have a nervous and grumpy teenager at home.
So, be strict about the sleeping schedule, have set rules during the summertime break, and talk with your children about their needs, and how you can help them balance everything that they have to do on a daily level.