Most teenagers in this day and age are constantly busy and usually in a rush. They have responsibilities in school and at home, along with buzzing social lives to tend to. But, adolescence is an important time of emotional and physical development, fueled by energy that constantly needs to be recharged through sleep.
However, too often enough, teens are not getting enough sleep. With hectic routines and poor time management skills, more than 85% of teenagers suffer from sleep deprivation and its side effects. Without the proper amount of sleep, teens put their safety, ability to learn, and overall health at risk.
While we are asleep, our immune system is boosted, damaged cells are healed, and our cardiovascular system is recharged. If your body doesn’t get a chance to properly recover– by going through the two recurring sleep cycles, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement)– you’re already starting the next day at a disadvantage.
Some symptoms of sleep deprivation are feeling drowsy, being irritable or depressed, struggling to take in new information and difficulty remembering things or making decisions.
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, lack of sleep has also been linked to “an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”
So how can you try to get the adequate amount of sleep you require every night?
Every night, you should try to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep. To improve your sleep habits, you should first try to allow yourself for enough time to sleep. You should also try to go to bed at the same time every day, avoid artificial light from a phone or TV screen, keep the same sleep schedule on weekends and weekdays, avoid large meals within a few hours before bed, and most importantly spend time outside every day and be physically active.
For more information on the importance of sleep for teenagers, please check out the following article from the National Sleep Foundation: