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Not catching enough zzzs: Sleep deprivation in teens

Not catching enough zzzs: Sleep deprivation in teens

Not catching enough zzzs: Sleep deprivation in teens 150 150 se_admin

Your teen’s morning alarm probably goes off before the crack of dawn. Most high schools start long before most traditional work days and if your teen is involved in extracurriculars, they’re probably staying at school until dinner time or later. This means that they don’t have time to start their homework until 7 or 8pm. A lot of teens stay up past midnight to get their homework done. And then they have to start the day over again…

Sleep deprivation in teens is a serious issue. According to the National Sleep Foundation,  more than 85 percent of teens are getting fewer than the recommended 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep. This sleep deprivation in teens results in a higher risk of obesity, suicide, driving accidents, drug abuse, and depression.

Causes of sleep deprivation in teens

Why is your teen not getting enough sleep? There could be a myriad of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Too much exposure to light before bedtime: Lights from cell phones, laptops and TV screens can prevent enough production of melatonin, the brain chemical we need to sleep.
  • Time shift due to hormones: Your teen’s hormones may be responsible do this lack of sleep. Hormones during puberty shift teen’s bodily clock forward a couple of hours, throwing off the time they get sleepy for a couple of hours past their normal bedtime. Early school time does not allow teens to get the sleep they need, leading to sleep deprivation.
  • Late night distractions: If your teen has a television or computer in their room, they might be playing video games or binge watching their favorite shows at night instead of sleeping.
  • A vicious cycle: If your teen is sleep deprived, their brain will become increasingly more active. An active, over aroused brain is less likely to be able to sleep.

Preventing sleep deprivation in teens

If your teen is struggling with getting enough sleep, it can negatively affect so many aspects of their life. Teens who are sleep deprived suffer emotionally and academically. Preventing sleep deprivation can keep your teen happy and motivated. Here are a few tips to keep your teen on a normal sleep schedule:

  • Decide with your teen on appropriate time limits for stimulating activities like homework, TV, video games and internet surfing. That way, they know when they have to shut off everything and get to bed!
  • Encourage afternoon naps. Having time to recharge is important for your teen to participate effectively in extracurriculars and to complete their homework without struggle.
  • Get your teen to bed early on Sundays. Starting their week with adequate sleep will help them be less sleep deprived overall.
  • Look through your teen’s schedule to see if they have too many things on their plate. Sleep should always take priority over involvement.

Solstice East can help

If your teen is struggling with depression and anxiety, Solstice East can help. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.