9 Reasons Teenagers Need More Sleep


Being a teenager is certainly one of the most exciting periods in one’s life. You have so much of energy and you just want to engage in anything and everything ― hiking, mountain climbing, ski diving. You hardly get tired and you could stay up all night thinking about your prom date or first kiss. As much as it seems like you have an inexhaustible reservoir of energy, this may just be when you need to rest the most. Hitting the sack is something every teenager must do often. Here are 9 reasons why.

They Expend a Lot of Energy

My neighbor’s teenage sons go from gardening to video games to the groceries all in a light’s speed and she can hardly keep up with them. Teenagers have so much of energy and they sure use it for many physical activities. There is a need to replenish this energy and this can be done when your teen hits the sack and gets to rest.

Helping them Develop

A whole lot is happening at the same time to the average teenager in terms of cognitive, physical and sexual development. And many of these activities are powered by the brain. When teenagers sleep, the brain has more time to develop and consolidate on other cognitive functions like thinking, decision making, and emotional balance.

Academic Excellence

We want our teens to excel in school and get the best grades. Well, one way to do this is to ensure they get the right amount of sleep and at the right time too. Better cognitive development associated with better sleep is necessary for academic excellence. Sleep helps to make learning more concrete. In addition, sleep improves the brain’s retention capacity and makes it easier for your teen to store information for longer periods of time. Adequate sleep also makes your teen more creative and makes them a faster learner.

Dealing with Mood Swings

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Mood fluctuations occur often with teenagers and could be a source of worry for many parents. My neighbor complains that she never seems to know what to do with her son, as one minute he is super excited about something; the next minute, he is grumpy and sad over the same matter. This could be really disturbing, even for the teenager.

Mood swings and depressions can be curbed by sleeping. When you do not have enough sleep, you are likely to wake up with a sour and grumpy mood and if this goes on for a long time, you may just end up depressed and engage in high risking behaviors like drinking and driving. Sleeping helps to regulate your emotions too.

Helping their Appetitefood

So much is happening to your teenager in terms of cognitive, physical and emotional developments and all these are energy-driven and energy-sapping. It is important for your teen to be able to provide the body with the amount of energy it needs for these processes. More importantly, it is necessary for your teen to be able to replace the used up energy in the body. All these can be done when your teen eats right and well. As such, it is important that your teen develops a healthy appetite.

Nutritionists say that when teenagers sleep at the right time and for the right duration of time, they wake up with a healthy appetite and are able to eat better.

Reducing the Stress

stressWe all know how stressful the typical teenager’s day turns out ― loss of energy in the execution of loads of physical activities, emotional plus psychological dramas, cognitive stress and so on.

Stress is not good for anyone; teenagers inclusive. It is thus important that every teenager engages in activities that are stress-reducing and can help to relieve stress. Getting enough sleep can help your teen manage and handle stress effectively. Continuous secretions of stress hormones make it impossible for your teen to fall asleep. However, if your teen sleeps at the right time and for the right duration of time, they will prevent the accumulation of stress-induced sleep debts that can become nearly impossible to pay off.

Letting Go of Extra Pounds

Apart from eating junk food, inadequate sleep can also lead to uncontrollable weight gain amongst teenagers. Teenagers who don`t sleep well enough or for the right duration often end up eating without control and becoming obese or overweight. How this even work is the question that is most likely on your mind at this moment, I guess. Well, believe it or not, stress is a great regulator of body fat. When you sleep, all your organs do not just blank off; rather, they utilize that time to produce hormones that are extremely beneficial to your health. One of such hormones is Leptin. Leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone that helps you know the optimum quantity of food you should consume in one meal. It does this by letting you know when you should stop eating a particular meal. This is a great way for your teen to control their weight gain problems.

Sleep deprivation can fire up your teen’s body to demand more; energy wise. Usually, teenagers` systems are supposed to demand lesser calories at night when they sleep. However, not sleeping can totally alter this system as the brain begins to stimulate the hormones so that your teenager begins to feel hungry. If this continues, it is likely to lead to weight gain.

Keeping their Soldiers in Shape

The cells in the immune system are extremely important as they protect the body from dangerous organisms like virus cells and other disease pathogens. These organisms are not beneficial to health; especially teenage health. As such, it is necessary that your teen fortifies their immune system. And this can be done through sleeping. Researchers say that sleeping stimulates the body to secrete Cytokines; a compound protects and boosts the immune system.

A Happy Heart

Sleeping adequately will protect your teenager from heart-related issues like cardio-vascular damages and damages to the heart’s arteries. Good-quality sleep reduces the workload of the heart as blood pressure and heart rates slow down at night. This improves your heart’s health and makes for a healthier heart.  Remember, a healthy heart makes a happy heart.

Just how much of Sleep does your Teen Need?

We have talked about how sleeping for the right hours is extremely beneficial to your teen. Now, you are wondering:’ Just how many hours of sleep is enough?’ I’ll tell you. Experts say that teenagers require 8-10 hours of sleep every day to enable them to develop well and carry out all life functions effectively.  As easy as this seems, many teenagers sleep hours fall way below that range and this is extremely worrisome.

What Happens if your Teen doesn’t Sleep Often?

There are a lot of wrongs that creep up when your teen fails to sleep as much as s/he should. Higher risks of depression, poor academic performance, and indulgence in high-risking behaviors are some of the things that happen as a result of inadequate sleep.

Final Words…

It is important for your teens to get all the sleep they need, and you can help them with this. Teach your teen about the benefits of having enough sleep. More importantly, help them achieve this. You could draw up a sleeping schedule for your teens and make sure they keep to this. You will be glad you did.  Sleep-filled teenagers are happy teenagers.