Studies show that teens don’t get enough sleep, and this could be a vital factor in how they preform in the classroom. Whether they are up watching TV, chatting with friends, or working on homework, teens rarely get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
“A recent study at Drexel University of students aged 12 to 18 found that 20 percent of those studied got the recommended eight or more hours of sleep during school nights with the rest getting less than eight hours. The average sleep for U.S. adolescents is seven hours.”
A busy social life, caffeinated beverages and access to electronics are all common reasons why teens find themselves up late. However, some research shows that a teenager’s biological clock is responsible. Biological and hormonal changes that take place during puberty can be a factor in why teenagers can’t fall asleep as early as they did when they were little. The biological clock of a teenager is set about two hours later than younger children, which causes them to sleep later in the mornings and stay up later at night.
Studies show that a lack of sleep not only has a negative effect on grades, but can also contribute to teens feeling sad, unmotivated and emotional. Thankfully, helping your night owl adjust their habits to get more sleep is not impossible, and can be done with a few easy steps.
1. Help your teen develop a calming routine before bed. This could be reading or practicing yoga.
2. Turn off the bright nights and create a dimly lit atmosphere two hours before the projected bedtime. This will relax your child’s eyes and mind.
3. Limit technology before bed. It is easy for your child to lose track of time when they’re on Facebook, Twitter, checking emails and watching videos before bed. By limiting screen time before bed, your teenager will not only get more sleep, they’ll get better sleep. The blue light that emitted by computer screens and phones decreases your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Teens who get the recommended amount of sleep tend to have higher test scores and better overall grades. Although most teenagers may not jump up and down at the thought of a regulated sleep schedule, they will be thankful that you are looking out for them, and they will be even more thankful when they wake up refreshed and energized each morning. As their sleeps improves, so will their grades and this will make everyone happy. Learning to get enough sleep is an important life skill that will help teenagers adjust into well rested adults. It will help them learn the value of a good night’s sleep and they can reap the benefits of plenty of Z’s.