Most Adolescents Don’t Get Enough Sleep

8 Feb

For teens, getting enough sleep each night can make a huge difference to both their physical health and academic performance. In general, teenagers need between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, only 15% manage to sleep 8.5 hours on a school night. Insufficient sleep can not only result in difficulty concentrating and solving problems but it can also hinder their ability to retain the information they’ve learned in class. Teens who don’t get enough sleep are also more prone to aggressive or inappropriate behavior, which can place a strain on their social lives. Lack of sleep can also lead to acne, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and a greater likelihood of smoking or drinking alcohol.

So, how can a teen get back on track? First, make sleep a priority and get to bed and wake up at a consistent time each day, even on weekends. Exercise each day, as studies have shown regular exercise is associated with better sleeping habits. Avoid consuming foods and drinks containing caffeine late in the day, as they can make falling asleep more difficult. Also, don’t smoke or drink alcohol (which should go without saying). Refrain from watching TV or using electronic devices before bed, as the light from screens can interfere with the body’s ability to fall asleep.

Best of all, these tips can also be used by “grown-ups” to improve their sleep too.

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