Little Known Ways Teenagers are
Affected by Lack of Sleep
By Darrell Crook
There is no doubt that teenagers seem to have endless energy. This may lead them and parents to believe that they do not need as much sleep as they did when they were younger. However, studies have shown that this belief is actually false. Many teenagers are often adversely affected by a lack of sleep. Parents may be surprised by some of the ways that their teens are impacted when they do not get enough sleep.
Could Lack of Sleep Cause a Teen to Receive Lower Grades in School?
Not only is it possible that lack of sleep is impacting your teenager's grades but it is highly likely. Studies about this have been done. These studies have shown that those who get enough sleep are more likely to get A and B in school than students who do not receive adequate sleep each night.
What Can Be Done for a Teen Who is Always on the Go, Then Falls Asleep Over Homework?
If your teen is falling asleep over homework, he or she is likely not getting enough sleep. The fact is that many teens do this. While falling asleep over homework will result in poor grades, it should send up even bigger warning flags to parents. If your child is too tired to do homework, they should not know how to write an essay introduction and be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car. It may be time for a heart to heart talk. Let your teen know that you are concerned and that for the teens safety, they will not be driving until they rectify their sleep patterns. Not being allowed to drive may just inspire them to get to bed at a decent hour.
How Much Sleep Does a Teenager Need?
A teenager needs eight to ten hours of sleep per night. Few in this age group get this amount of sleep. The teenage years are busy ones. They stay up late texting, talking and watching television. Many students also have extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs that deplete their energy and also keep them out later. High schools start early, so they cannot make up for it by sleeping later in the morning.
Can Lack of Sleep be the Reason for a Teenager's Mood Swings?
Lack of sleep can cause mood swings in your teen. They may become irritable and disagreeable. They may fly off the handle more frequently. Anyone who has raised children can tell you that teens are moody anyway. Between the biological changes, hormones and general idea that they know it all, even with sleep they can have mood swings. However, not getting enough sleep amplifies the moods and makes them more pronounced.
Are There Any Serious Consequences That Can Result from Lack of Sleep?
There are some very serious consequences to not getting enough sleep. While some of the consequences are not good, like falling asleep over homework, or falling asleep in class, they are not too serious. You may get a bad grade, or get laughed at by schoolmates for a few days but that is about it. The more serious consequences are falling asleep while driving which can of course result in an accident. Depression is something else that is considered serious. Some teens even begin to have suicidal thoughts due to the depression from lack of sleep.
What Can Parents do to Encourage Better Sleep Habits?
As parents you can see to it that cell phones are not allowed in the bedroom at night. Keep the computer in a common area of the home so your child is not up on the Internet at night. Make it a rule that the television is turned off by a certain time each night. Set a bedtime for your teen and stick to it. Set consequences as well as rewards that will be followed through if your teen can stick to their sleep schedule and maintain high grades or show marked improvement.
While it may not be easy to get your teenagers to agree to your new rules for getting them to bed at a reasonable hour, you will know that it is for their own good. They will feel better and do better in school. They will also be more pleasant to be around. Helping your teen with time management skills and learning to sleep on a schedule will make them more productive in all areas of their lives.