Teenagers and Sleep: How is it connected

Teenagers like labeling themselves as “night owls,” exchanging tales of pulling all-nighters and sleeping through an entire Saturday. While adolescents and their sleep patterns may annoy parents, they are partially due to bodily changes associated with puberty. Teens undergo an average shift in circadian rhythm, explains Laura Stern, M.D., a sleep specialist at Johns Hopkins; this makes falling asleep before 11 p.m. more difficult. When you combine early school start times with an increase in homework, extracurricular activities, and sometimes a part-time job, sleep deprivation in teenagers becomes frequent. Stern notes that parents must assist adolescents in doing the best they can since this age group needs more sleep than we think.

Why Do Teenagers Require More Sleep Than Younger Children?

So how much sleep is sufficient? According to physician Michael Crocetti, M.D., M.P.H. of Johns Hopkins, adolescents need 9 to 912 hours of sleep each night—an hour or two more than they did at age 10. Why? Teenagers are through the second stage of cognitive maturation, Crocetti says. Additional sleep aids in the development of their brains and physical growth surges. Additionally, it helps safeguard children from severe repercussions like despair or substance abuse.

The causes of adolescent sleep deprivation:

Several reasons why many adolescents do not get enough sleep consistently include the following:

Hormonal time change- puberty hormones cause a one- or two-hour shift in the teenager’s biological clock, making them sleepier one to two hours later. While the adolescent sleeps longer, their early school beginnings prevent them from sleeping in. This nightly sleep debt’ accumulates over time, resulting in chronic sleep deprivation.

Using screen-based gadgets- smartphones and other devices used around bedtime contribute to sleep deprivation. According to Vic Health and the Sleep Health Foundation research, teens who put their smartphones down an hour before bed get an additional 21 minutes of sleep each night (or one hour and 45 minutes throughout the school week).

After-School Schedules May Be Busy- schoolwork, sports, part-time employment, and social obligations can all eat into a teenager’s sleep time.

Recreational activities- the allure of exciting entertainment such as television, the internet, and computer gaming may entice a teenager to stay awake.

Exposure to light- light signals the brain to remain awake. In the evening, light from T.V.s, cell phones, and laptops may interfere with the proper synthesis of melatonin, the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) associated with sleep.

Vicious cycle- Insufficiency of sleep leads the brain of an adolescent to become more active. A hyper-aroused brain has a more challenging time falling asleep.

Societal attitudes- in Western society, activity is seen as more important than sleep.

Sleep problem- sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnoea may impair a teenager’s ability to sleep.

The Effects Of Adolescent Sleep Deprivation:

  • A teenager’s growing brain requires between eight and ten hours of sleep each night. Chronic (ongoing) sleep loss may have the following effects:
  • problems with concentrating
  • In class, mentally ‘drifting.’
  • diminished attention span
  • impairment of memory
  • ineffective decision-making
  • lack of zeal
  • irritability and aggressiveness
  • depression
  • aggression

Teenagers And Sleep: Assist Them In Obtaining What They Require:

Both Stern and Crocetti advise parents to take adolescents and sleep seriously. Begin by modeling healthy sleep behaviors, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, limiting evening coffee use, and engaging in regular physical activity. Additionally, they recommend these teen-specific and time-tested strategies.

Make An Appointment For A Checkup:

Pediatricians may educate adolescents on the need for adequate sleep, suggest good sleep practices, and test them for common adolescent sleep problems such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and circadian rhythm abnormalities.

Begin The Day In The Sunshine:

Eating breakfast outdoors or near a sunny window helps adjust the body’s biological clock, making it more straightforward for teenagers to get up in the morning and fall asleep at night.

Encourage connection:

When your adolescent is rested, inquire about his feelings that day when taking a test or participating in a sport. Assist him in concluding that sleep improves his outlook—and in determining how much sleep is sufficient.

Connect Adequate Sleep To Car Privileges:

Sleep deficiency in adolescents may result in accidents. You can warn your adolescent son that he cannot drive to school in the morning if he gets enough sleep.

Assist Adolescents In Rethinking Their Schedules:

If your teen usually begins schoolwork after evening events, assist him in establishing an earlier start time. Extremely hectic schedules may need a reorganization.

Encourage Teenagers To Take Afternoon Naps:

Tired teenagers may benefit from a 30- to 45-minute afternoon nap; this is a more effective way to treat sleep deficiency in adolescents than sleeping in, which disrupts their body’s sleep cycle.

Eliminate Technology Use In The Bedroom:

Using technology at night not only reduces teenagers’ sleep time but also exposes them to a kind of light that inhibits the body’s synthesis of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making falling asleep more difficult.

Use Adjustable Beds And Comforters:

A teenager can use an adjustable bed for extra comfort. Adjustable beds enable you to position your head and feet to get the most comfortable sleeping position.  Zero gravity beds are basically adjustable beds that will allow your body to achieve a state of zero gravity.

For years, hospitals have utilized zero gravity beds to assist in regulating blood flow. Apart from their numerous health benefits, they also help patients sleep better by reducing snoring, relieving back and neck pain, and assisting them in falling asleep deeper. Thus, adjustable beds increase comfort, which can help a teenager for better sleep.

You can buy a comforter for better sleep for your teenage son or daughter. A comforter is a big, quilted sack of cloth filled with luxurious fibers such as silk, down, wool, cotton, or polyester. It is actually thicker than a duvet and is used by 58.3 percent of homes in the United States. Know about the comforter sizes in inches here –

As comforter sizes are not standardized, you might purchase a queen-size comforter and find it does not fit your queen-size mattress. The most straightforward place to begin is by checking the labels on your bedding and your mattress size. As stated before, the queen comforter size varies from 81 to 88 inches wide and 86 to 100 inches long. However, some manufacturers may describe them as full comforters, ideal for queen-size beds but maybe too long for regular full-size beds.


So, you can help out your teenage children to get better sleep by following these tips. If they can follow these processes every morning, they will wake up with a positive vibe, and they will get sufficient energy for work throughout the whole day.


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