Teens: All About Sleep

Adolescents need about 8½ to 9½ hours of sleep per night, but many don’t get it. Because of early school start times on top of schedules packed with school, homework, friends, and activities, they’re typically chronically sleep deprived.And sleep deprivation adds up over time, so an hour less per night is like a full night without sleep by the end of the week. Among other things, an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to:

  • decreased attentiveness
  • decreased short-term memory
  • inconsistent performance
  • delayed response time

These can cause bad tempers, problems in school, stimulant use, and driving accidents (more than half of “asleep-at-the-wheel” car accidents are caused by teens).

Teens also experience a change in their sleep patterns — their bodies want to stay up late and wake up later, which often leads to them trying to catch up on sleep during the weekend. This sleep schedule irregularity can actually aggravate the problems and make getting to sleep at a reasonable hour during the week even harder.

Ideally, a teen should try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, allowing for at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

(http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/sleep.html#)


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