Teens And Sleep - Habits, Problems And Patterns You Should Be Aware Of

Teens And Sleep

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Are you anxious about your teen’s sleeping pattern? Do you feel that he doesn’t sleep enough, and the health problems he faces are due to a lack of sleep? Do you know what kind of problems sleep issues can lead to? If these are questions that concern you, consider reading our post. Here we look at teenage sleep patterns, problems and sleep habits and also learn the importance of sleep for teenagers

Teens And Sleep – Habits And Patterns:

Teenage years are a critical time for your child. Chances are, he will undergo a spurt in growth and development. Thus, proper sleep becomes critical to his growth. However, your teen may exhibit some discrepancies in his sleeping patterns, which can be a cause for concern.

Here are some common patterns and sleeping habits of teenagers that you may notice:

  • He sleeps less, sometimes less than 5-6 hours.
  • Once it is bed time, he spends time on the screen, completes school work, studies, listens to music, calls his friends, etc. He does ever
    ything except sleep.
  • The lack of sleep increases his lethargy, and he gets tired quite easily.
  • Teenage academic pressure can also affect your teen’s sleeping pattern. The extra stress can end up interfering and reducing his sleep time. Academic pressure is a common reason for sleep deprivation and inadequate hours of sleep in your teen.
  • Coffee helps many-a-teen concentrate on academic work. However, it is a stimulant that keeps the mind awake. Coffee has a long half-life and can lead to insomnia (1).

Common Problems That Affect Teens Due To A Lack Of Sleep:

No matter how many times we say it, sleep is extremely crucial. In case your teen doesn’t get enough sleep, here are some issues that can affect his health and behavior:

  • He may find it difficult to concentrate, learn and listen properly. A lack of sleep can also affect his problem-solving skills. Once the sleep deprivation sets in, he may even forget important information like someone’s name, a phone number, even a home phone number, school assignments, important dates and more.
  • He misplaces items and does not remember where he kept them.
  • Sleeping for fewer hours or not having enough sleep also makes your teen prone to acne breakouts. Teenage signals the onset of acne and the skin conditions can affect his confidence levels and depress him.
  • Sleep disturbance or lack of adequate sleep can make him irritable and unduly stressed. In such a situation, he may turn aggressive, sometimes without even realizing it. He yells at others, disrespects you and seems frustrated. He might get into potentially illegal and dangerous situations like using substances or drinking and driving.
  • The moodiness or inappropriate behavior may also continue in school, and he could start fights with others, be rude to the teachers and staff.
  • Sleep disorders in teens such as lack of proper hours of sleep disturbed sleep or the inability to fall asleep can lead to further health issues. It can cause health scares like heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, migraine and more.
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to eating disorders as well, and you may notice your teen’s eating habits going through a sudden change or turn extreme. He feels hungry at odd hours, or he eats less than or more than normal. It could be a case of emotional eating, where he may be trying to use food as a means of comfort and distraction. In such a case, he runs the risk of becoming obese. The other scenario is that he may turn anorexic and try to avoid meals at all times. He may even feel too tired to sit through an entire meal. He may start having body image issues and might even contract eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia. On the other hand, he could start depending on junk food, which can lead to all sorts of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease.

[ Read: Common Eating Disorders In Teen ]

  • Lack of sleep can most commonly result in depression. He may lose interest in his favorite activities. He will try and shirk company, or not meet friends and avoid socializing. He may even lose interest in eating and eat little.
  • If he has started driving, a lack of sleep could be serious and sometimes even a fatal condition. Most teen accidents that involve an automobile happen when a teen drives without paying full attention. Not being able to concentrate is a result of lack of sleep, and mixed with driving, it can have a disastrous result (2).

[ Read: Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders In Teens ]

How To Ensure Proper Teenage Sleeping Habits:

As a parent, it is important for you to inculcate proper sleep habits in your teen. You may have taught him the importance of bedtime, but as your child enters his teens, the importance seems to diminish and bedtime fast becomes a thing of the past. It can become unmanageable to get your teen to go to sleep and if you are going through these motions, don’t give up just yet. Here, we list some routines or tips you can follow that will help him have adequate sleep and regulate his sleeping pattern:

  • Make sure that his bedtime routine is consistent each day, whether it is a weekday or a weekend. Try to make him go to bed and wake up at the same time each night and day.
  • Ensure that his bedroom or sleep area is comfortable, quiet and dark. Remove all the clutter like computer, TV, gaming consoles to a different part of the house. Keep the sleeping area only for sleeping.
  • Finish meals a few hours before bedtime so that he feels light and relaxed at the time of sleeping.

Hope you liked our post on teens and sleep. Make sure you follow the above tips to ensure better teen sleep. If your teenage sleep problems persists, seek immediate medical attention. Does your teen suffer from any sleep disorders? Does he exhibit any of the symptoms we mention above? Have you taken him to visit a doctor yet? Tell us your story below.

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