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December 09, 2016
AS MUCH AS your teen sleeps in on the weekends, you may be surprised to learn that more than 87 percent of high school students in the United States get less than the recommended amount of sleep daily, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
This lack of sleep translates into lower grades, poorer sports and academic performance and could even be instrumental in the onset of depression. If you worry that your teen needs more sleep each night than he or she is currently getting, get the facts on sleep insufficiency, its causes and solutions.
Teens need to sleep between 8 and 10 hours a night, studies say. And considering that the majority of teens surveyed confess to getting less, this number can be worrisome to parents. Too-little sleep can cause increases in moodiness and poor performance, both in the classroom and in sports and extracurricular activities. Even worse, it can cause teens to be careless behind the wheel. Car crashes are the number-one cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 20, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and while sleepiness is not listed as a direct contributor, driver-error tops the list. If you have a teen who consistently has difficulty falling asleep at a decent time, learn more about this serious condition and how to prevent and cure it.
Not getting enough sleep, often called sleep insufficiency, can contribute to a number of health issues:
While you sleep, your body takes the opportunity to heal itself. Studies mentioned at Harvard Med found that the body tends to process glucose more slowly in people who are continually sleep deprived. It can also cause blood pressure to rise, suppress your immune system and contribute to mood disorders. It’s important to get enough sleep each night — especially for teens whose bodies need to change and grow at enormous rates.
Fortunately, as a parent, you can help your teen get the recommended amount of sleep each night by encouraging simple lifestyle changes:
As a parent, the worry never really goes away. But you can at least check the dangers of sleep insufficiency off your list by following the tips and techniques listed here.