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Healthy Choices

4 key reasons why teens can’t go about their day with less than 8 hours of sleep

May 24th, 2021

Teenagers tend to stay up until late at night, studying, watching TV or, most of the time, playing with their phones and chatting on social media.

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Their parents often set boundaries as to how much screen time they’re allowed, or by what time they should be in bed, but they don’t seem to cooperate.

In fact, they argue with their parents, who more often than not, can’t provide convincing arguments.

Below, we are analyzing the real reasons why teenagers can’t go about their day with fewer than 8 hours of sleep.

Actually, they need somewhere between 8 and 10 hours of sleep to be able to cope with the challenges that a teenager’s daily life involves.

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So, the most important thing to keep in mind is that between the age of 13 and 18 years old, the human body and mind undergo crucial development, and, in order for that development to be achieved, it needs a good night’s rest.

According to the CDC, “children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and problems with attention and behavior.”

But let’s take a look at the reasons one by one.

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First of all, it enhances physical health.

As mentioned above, during these years, the human body undergoes many changes and it literally transforms from the body of a child to that of an adult.

By getting enough sleep, we give the body the chance to properly regulate hormones, while the immune system is also boosted, and muscle and tissue recovery are enabled.

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Besides physical health, our emotional health is also affected.

Teens are known to be moody, while they also experience “exaggerated emotional reactions”. Research has shown that a lack of sleep during this period could lead to “interpersonal conflict” or, even worse, “serious mental health problems”.

Apart from all that, let’s not forget that teens still go to school and good grades are something important for many of them.

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According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep provides a number of benefits regarding thinking skills and, consequently, academic achievement.

More specifically, it is argued that sleep helps develop expansive thinking and it enhances creativity. We can agree that both of these skills are necessary for any high-school child.

On the other hand, lack of sleep can negatively affect school performance, studies suggest.

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But, what about behavior? Well, that, too, as well as decision-making are both affected by the amount of sleep one gets.

It would seem that the less sleep teens get, the more prone they are to risky behavior and poor decision-making. Some examples of this kind of behavior are, among others, drunk driving and alcohol/drug use.

Finally, it has been found that inefficient sleep in teens can be related to a higher risk of accidents, sometimes deadly ones. This is often due to drowsiness as a result of lack of sleep.

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Of course, let’s not forget that a good night’s rest means a relaxed atmosphere, no screens, clean sheets, and your favorite, most comfortable pillow.

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Now, all the above are good arguments to have in mind next time your 15-year-old asks why he should be sleeping at 2 am, right? Whether they work or not when it comes to convincing them that sleep is good for them, they’re still reasons enough for you to try.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: CDC, Sleep Foundation

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