Sleep Deprivation In Teens - 7 Causes & 16 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

Sleep Deprivation In Teens

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Is your teen not devoting enough time for sleep? Is the hectic and rigorous study hampering his daily sleep? If you said yes, you need him to understand the importance of sleeping well.

Sleep deprivation can lead to several health disorders, some of which could be irreparable. Without adequate sleep, he may not be able to concentrate on his studies or regular work. Adequate sleep is an integral part of our daily life. It helps maintain the physiological and psychological balance of the body and keeps the body active.

Read our post and learn all about sleep deprivation in teens here.

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

When a teenager fails to get enough sleep throughout the day, he suffers from sleep deprivation or insomnia. Every individual requires a sufficient amount of sleep, to energize the body and keep it active.

On an average, a teenager requires eight to nine hours of daily sleep. Failing to get a complete sleep may lead to several health disorders and the teen may suffe

r from the lack of concentration or fatigue (1).

Causes Of Sleep Deprivation In Teens:

Some of the common reasons for which teenagers suffer from sleep deprivation are:

  • Psychological Problems:

The phase of adolescents comprises of numerous life-changing situations. Excessive study pressure or coping with the world can lead to teenage anxiety disorders, depression or post-traumatic stress disorders. All such psychological factors can lead to sleep deprivation in teens.

  • Medications That Promote Insomnia:

A certain group of medications like antidepressants, cold and flu medicines, diuretics, pain relievers or high blood pressure medicines induces insomnia in teens and is often mooted as one of the causes of the disorder.

  • Medical Problems Cause Insomnia:

Some health disorders can lead to sleep deprivation in teens. Some of these disorders include asthma, chronic pain, acid reflux, cancer, and hyperthyroidism.

  • Hectic Daily Schedule:

The rigorous hectic daily schedule deprives your teen’s sleep. He just doesn’t seem to have time to sleep. The extra schoolwork or social obligations of school or college can lead to sleep deprivation.

  • Leisure Activities:

Leisure activities include television, listening to music, computer gaming or internet surfing. These activities can hamper your teen’s sleep pattern and result in loss of sleep.

  • Sleep Disorders:

When your teen suffers from several other sleep disorders including restless legs syndrome or narcolepsy, it can affect his daily sleep harshly.

  • Hormonal Time Shift:

Sudden hormonal changes can shift your teen’s body clock. It can lead to a delay in sleep-time, often as late as 1-2 hours after the regulation time. The sleep debt that he accumulates by staying up, leads to sleep deprivation (2).

[ Read: Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders In Teens ]

Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation In Teens:

While sleep deprivation has many obvious symptoms like irritability and anxiety, some other symptoms of the disorder that teens exhibit include:

  • Depression
  • Extreme feeling of tiredness and mental fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to concentrate on studies or day to day activates
  • Not able to memorize study stuff
  • Inability to tolerate stress
  • Alterations in appetite
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Delayed physical reflexes
  • Moodiness and aggression
  • Reduced academic performance
  • Clumsiness in performing normal activity
  • Reduced sporting performance
  • Engaged in risk-taking behaviors
  • Poor Cognitive ability (3)

[ Read: Teens And Sleep – Habits And Patterns ]

Harmful Effects Of Sleep Deprivation In Teens:

Some of the main side effects of sleep deprivation on teens include:

  • Increased Fatigue:

Sleep deprivation increases the mental fatigue of teens. Your son will find it extreme difficult to concentrate on his regular studies or normal activities.

  • Depression:

Sleep is an energy booster, and it energizes your cells. An inadequate amount of sleep can lead to depression and cause undue stress.

  • Trouble Forming Social Relationships:

His disability will hamper his normal activities, as an insomniac teen would not be able to make good friends. His social relationships will take a negative turn, due to his irritable and drowsy behavior.

  • Decreased Productivity:

As your teen is not active and is unable to concentrate on a task or dedicate time for it. You will notice a drop in his academic or sports development. Moreover, one needs to explore his creative side and concentrate on his passion. However, if your teen suffers from sleep deprivation, he will find it hard to concentrate.

  • Breathing Disorders:

Insomniac teens are prone to suffer from breathing disorders in their life.

  • Heart Disease:

Sleep deprivation elevates the risk of chronic cardiac diseases in teenagers. The induced stress hampers blood circulation, which can lead to many problems and even causes sudden cardiac disorders.

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents:

Sleep-deprived teens are more likely to encounter problems with impulse control. Impulse control can help increase the chances of risk-taking behaviors like motor accidents or drowning in water (4).

[ Read: Effects Of Caffeine On Teens ]

Preventing Sleep Deprivation In Teenagers:

Here are some ways to prevent sleep deprivation in teens:

  • There are numerous effective ways to prevent sleep deprivation in teens. Here, we look at some crucial ones.
  • Certain relaxation techniques help you reduce excess stress. You can listen to soft music. Breathe slowly and let your nerves relax.
  • Finding a comfortable area is another effective way of getting adequate sleep. Find a quiet area free from loud noises. Avoid areas with bright lights. Wear your comfortable clothes and enjoy the relaxed and peaceful environment.
  • Avoid drinking caffeinated products before bedtime. Caffeine is a mild stimulant present in most of the beverages including tea, coffee or chocolates. It induces sleep deprivation in teens.
  • Regular exercising is another aspect of healthy living. Practice some daily exercises including jogging, cycling or swimming. Exercises induce the notion of sleep and help get a complete night sleep.
  • Avoid recreational drugs including tobacco or alcohol. They can hamper the quality of sleep, and the teen may encounter sleep deprivation (5).

Did your teen suffer from sleep deprivation? How did you help your teen overcome it? Do share your valuable experiences with other mommies here! Leave a comment in the box below.

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