Understanding sleeps deprivation in teenagers
Does your teen have poor sleep habits? Most teenagers do not value the importance of sleep as much as they should. During this age, a teen should get between 8-10 hours of sleep every night. Some sleep for only 6 hours a night due to different distractions that affect the youth.
The body clock of a teenager is slightly different from that of an adult. Teens get tired later in the night, therefore end up sleeping late and waking up late. This is what makes most of them suffer from sleep deprivation which affects their wellbeing and can lead to poor academic performance. Today, we help every parent raising a teenager to help their child get enough sleep. Read on!
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What causes sleep deprivation in teenagers?
There are different reasons why teenagers do not get enough sleep. While some are internal factors, others are external meaning that they can be controlled. The teen years come with puberty which triggers sex hormones. Puberty hormones interfere with a teen’s internal body clock shifting it an hour later. A teen ends up not getting sleep like any other person due to this shift.
At this age, a teenager is also trying to find a sense of identity. They, therefore, engage in late-night texting with the opposite sex for hours. Smartphones and laptops in the bedroom of a teen can delay sleep for long causing sleep deprivation the next day. They may have trouble concentrating in class since they did not have enough time to sleep.
The after-school schedule can also interfere with the child’s sleep pattern. Too many assignments and revision sometimes keep a teen for hours in the evening. Leisure activities such as computer gaming, internet browsing expose the child’s eyes to the light cues which tell the brain to stay awake. The light from the computer prevents the generation of melatonin which helps people sleep.
Some cultures also value keeping active more than sleep. Some teens also suffer from sleep disorders without the knowledge of their parents. Disorders such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome in teens interfere with the quality of their sleep.
Other teenagers try to experiment on alcohol and drugs to fit in certain groups. This not only causes addiction but also interferes with the normal sleep patterns leading to insomnia and other sleep problems.
The effects of sleep deprivation in teens
Their brain is still developing, and that is why they need more sleeping hours than an adult. Chronic sleep deprivation is detrimental to the health of a young person. It may affect your concentration and attention span, mood or cause depression and anxiety. Teens who are sleep deprived also suffer from memory impairment, truancy, and clumsiness which exposes them to injuries. One can also lack enthusiasm in life activities and miss school due to fatigue and body weakness.
How can you help your sleep-deprived teen?
Every parent should be concerned about the welfare of the teen. It is an age that needs proper guidance and support. You should, therefore, avoid arguing with your child about bedtime and try to understand the sleep issues they may be facing. Work closely with them to help them boost the quality of sleep. Use the following:
Make their bedroom comfortable
A teen needs to sleep in a cozy bedroom for them to tune their internal body clock to sleep early enough in preparation for the next day. As a parent, you should look for ways of improving their comfort level such as replacing an old mattress with a new comfortable one. Go through Simba mattress review and choose one that can increase comfort for your teen to sleep better.
Change light curtains to dark ones to block any form of light for your child to sleep well. Get them comfy sheets and pillows so that you encourage them to enjoy bedtime.
Set the rules
As the parent, you should guide your child using a set of rules that they should follow without persuasion. For instance, you can establish a regular sleep schedule for your teen so that you help them sleep early enough for them to wake up without problems to go to school.
Monitor your teen’s activities especially in the evening. Encourage them not to play video games or spend time on the internet before sleeping. Remove electronic devices in their bedroom so that they don’t get tempted to remain awake for long at night.
Observe their sleep patterns
How long does your teen sleep? Anything less than 8 hours is unhealthy for them at this age. Monitoring their sleep patterns can help you take the next step to help them sleep for the recommended hours. You can also talk to your child to find out any sleep obstacles they may be having. For instance, a child may be engaging in substance abuse which could interfere with their sleep. Identifying such factors early enough can help you prevent the habit through counseling.
Find out more about sleep and educate your teen
Strive to find out everything regarding sleep and share this information with your teen. Teach them the relevance of sleep and its benefits so that they can try to sleep on their own free will. The internet is a source of information that can enlighten both of you more on how sleep affects the brain development as well as behavior and self-control.
Identify sleep issues and seek further help
Sometimes, sleep deprivation is caused by an underlying disorder in teens. For instance, your child could be having restless leg syndrome or even anxiety which causes sleep difficulties. Find out any sleep issues so that you can consult a therapist or a sleep specialist. A doctor can also conduct a sleep study on the child and prescribe the right medication to improve sleep.
Studies show that most teenagers today are not sleeping enough due to technological advancements, busy schedules as well as drug abuse. Parents should be keen on the sleeping patterns of their teens to help them curb sleep deprivation so that they can boost academic performance.