7 Reasons Teens Need Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation is something that affects the old and young, but the age perhaps most susceptible to sleep problems is adolescence. Not only do teens need more sleep, but it aids in development and staves off health issues later in life.

Teenage boy sleeping.

Sleep turns on puberty

Puberty is literally something that happens overnight. A recent study found that the brain activates puberty during deep sleep. Researchers examined children aged 9 through 15 and looked at pulses of luteinizing hormone (LH) in relation to sleep stages. They found that most LH pulses occur after deep sleep. Not getting quality deep sleep could disrupt the normal puberty process.

Teenage boy playing video games.

Gaming and Internet deprives teens of sleep

According to researchers, gaming and internet activity are more likely to cause sleep deprivation in teens than watching television. Researchers analyzed data from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and found that different types of media have different impact on teen sleep patterns. And that can lead to problems with behavior and functioning during the day.

Standing on a scale.

Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain in teens

A 2011 study found that sleeping less than eight hours a night could lead to weight gain in teens. Obesity was also linked to sleep deprivation in males. This occurs because the hormones leptin and ghrelin work to control feeling of hunger and fullness, and when you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel satisfied after you eat.

Boy being bullied in school.

Sleepiness makes teens bullies

Researchers found that children who are bullies and tend to have behavioral problems are more likely to be tired during the day. The major driver behind behavior problems is daytime sleepiness and researchers say it could be due to the effect of sleep deprivation on the pre-frontal cortex. That part of the brain is related to emotional control, decision making and social behavior.


Sleep apnea impairs teen life skills

Kids who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in their teens have higher rates of attention issues, hyperactivity and aggression. They also have difficulty controlling emotions, managing social situations and independently caring for themselves. Researchers say that dealing with OSA before children become teens is essential to prevent these problems.

Assorted junk food.

Sleep deprived teens eat more fatty foods

Teens who sleep less than eight hours per night are more likely to eat fatty foods. Researchers found that teens who slept fewer hours consumed 2.2 percent more calories from fat per day and 3 percent fewer calories from carbohydrates. This was especially true for girls - andcould be due to emotional eating.

Girl laying down on bed and using smart phone.

Bedtime texting causes sleep problems

Teens send approximately 3,400 texts or emails at bedtime every month, or 33.5 per night. This practice not only makes it harder to fall asleep, but it causes mood, behavior and cognitive problems during the day. Researchers suggest removing cell phones, computers, laptops and iPads from the bedroom.

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