What to Expect If Your Teen Isn’t Getting 9 Hours of Sleep a Night
What happens to teens who DON’T get enough sleep? The negative effects of sleep deprivation are absolutely undeniable. Take a look at the following:
Are My Teen’s Problems Caused by a Lack of Sleep?
1) There’s a direct association between the amount of sleep your teen gets and how well he or she does in school. In one study, the more sleep a teen got each night, the higher their grades were. Is a lack of sleep behind your teen’s poor school performance? (New York Magazine, “Snooze or Lose” )
2) Adequate sleep is necessary for the health of your teen’s brain. While asleep, the brain is reinforcing connections that promote good brain health, while pruning connections that negatively impact brain health. (Dr. Dave Walsh, “Children and Sleep: Why Tired Brains Need to Hit the Hay”)
3) Teens who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to aggressive or inappropriate behavior, such as yelling at friends or being impatient with teachers and family members. Is your teen easily angered and disrespectful? (National Sleep Foundation, “Teens and Sleep”)
4) Lack of adequate sleep is associated with inattention, hyperactivity, behavioral problems and impaired academic performance, leading to misdiagnosis of ADHD. Could lack of sleep be one of the causes of the increase in ADHD diagnoses? (PsychCentral, “ADHD Linked with Teenage Sleep Problems”)
5) Adolescents with earlier bedtimes are significantly less likely to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. Is your teen depressed? (PsychCentral, “More Sleep for Teens Protects Mental Health”)
6) Sleep problems in teens are actually a predictor of poorer mental health, and more than half of all mental health problems start at age 14. (Allison G. Harvey, Ph.D., “Adolescent Depression and Sleep”)
7) “Night owls” suffer from greater emotional instability, are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and exhibit poor self-regulation of mood and conduct. Does your teen sleep all day and stay up all night? (Allison G. Harvey, Ph.D., “Adolescent Depression and Sleep”)
8) “Night owls” are more prone to aggressive and antisocial behavior, rule-breaking, and impulsivity. Could one of the increases in teen criminal activity actually be connected to sleep cycles? (Allison G. Harvey, Ph.D., “Adolescent Depression and Sleep”)
9) When a teen is sleep deprived, negative memories take precedence over positive and neutral memories. Such biased memory retrieval causes teens to be grumpier and more negative and cynical. Is your teen prone to negative thoughts? (Jessica D. Payne, Ph.D., “Memory, Cognition and Sleep”)
10) Bullies are twice as likely to have sleep problems. Have teachers and administrators told you your teen is a bully? (University of Michigan, “Kids who bully, have aggressive behaviors are twice as likely to have sleep problems”)
Your Turn: What do you do to make sure your teen gets enough sleep each night? Share your tips!