The Importance of Sleep: Your Questions, Answered


The Importance of Sleep: Your Questions, Answered

Getting enough sleep can be a challenge for anyone, but it is especially difficult for teenagers.


In fact, the roughly 9 in 10 adolescents fail to get enough sleep. There are many reasons for this shortfall, including early school start times, extracurricular commitments, and excessive screen time.

If you’re worried about your own sleep habits, read on for some information and advice.


So how much sleep do I need, anyway?

Sleep researchers have found that most teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a night to function best.


A useful chart from the National Sleep Foundation 

What happens if I get less sleep than that?

No matter which way you slice it, sleep deficiency is bad news. The consequences include:


--Impaired emotional regulation. In other words, you’re more likely to get in a screaming match with a friend or parent over something relatively minor.
--Increased anxiety and irritability
--Diminished cognitive abilities. That is, you may have have trouble concentrating and learning.

How can I Improve my sleep habits?


--Develop a consistent sleep schedule. Try and get to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
--Avoid checking your phone or watching television in the 45 minutes before you go to bed. Such stimulation can hamper your sleep!
--Exercise regularly.
--Start your homework earlier in the day so that you are not forced to stay up late completing it.
--If you are someone who experiences anxiety while trying to fall asleep, consider keeping a diary or notepad by your bed in which you jot down to-do items (rather than stay up obsessing over them).

If you are have adapted all of these habit and are still not getting enough sleep, it may be time to consider cutting back on your commitments, whether that means reducing extracurricular involvement or taking less intense course load.


In other words, don't sacrifice your mental or physical well being for an “impressive” schedule. It is not worth it!


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