Is your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

Teenagers can be known for sleeping very long hours, but it doesn’t mean that they are lazy. Teens actually need more sleep than adults as they are going through a significant period of growth and transition at that stage in life. Teens in the age 12-18 category can be very busy between school, extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, and maintaining a social life.

Experts recommend at least 8-10 hours of sleep per night for teenagers, but most teens actually get less sleep than that. Many teens are what you would refer to as “night owls,” and prefer staying up late and sleeping the day away, but this is not necessarily a good thing.  

Why do teens need more sleep?

There are many reasons for this. It is important to remember that teens’ brains are developing and changing significantly in the adolescent years, and this will have an effect on their thinking, emotions, behavior, and interpersonal relationships.  Much like diet and exercise, sleep is important for the overall function of anyone, but especially for teenagers as they transition into adulthood.

Navigating a late bedtime with an early school start time is no fun, and teens need the proper amount of sleep in order to be able to focus on school and everything else in their life. Poor concentration due to lack of sleep can, unfortunately, lead to many mental health issues for teens, which is why sleep is so important.

How to help your teen get a good night’s sleep

While your teen may fight you on wanting to stay up late, it is important to encourage them to get to bed at a reasonable time, especially if they have school the next day. Practicing good sleep hygiene habits is important to make the most out of their sleep, including keeping the room cool and dark.

Also, while many teens tend to be attached to their electronic devices for most of the day, it is important to limit the use of technology, or stop it all together right before bedtime as the blue light from the devices can cause disruptions with their REM sleep, which is vital to getting a good night’s sleep.

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