Why Teens Need Their Sleep

Too much screen time leads to exhausted teens. Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Exhausted teens are less social, and more disrespectful to their parents.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why Teens Need Their Sleep:
1. It helps them concentrate in school.
2. It keeps their moods more even.
3. It keeps the immune system strong.
4. They have more energy.
5. It reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
6. Teens who are sleep-deprived eat more junk food.
7. It leads to better judgement.
8. It helps your teen with memory.
9. Teens who get enough sleep are more social.
10. Teens who sleep enough are more respectful.

The health benefits of sleep cannot be overstated. For your teenager’s psychological and physical well-being, make this a top priority. You are on your child about homework, hygiene, chores, etc. Make sleep even more important than these things.  As a therapist for adolescents, assessing how much sleep a teenager is getting is one of the most important things I screen for at the first counseling session.

Teenagers need approximately 9.5 hours of sleep a night! Can you believe that? They are still growing. While they look like young men and women, their brains are far from finished developing.

Unfortunately most teenagers get about 6 hours of sleep on school nights. They are bogged down with homework, sports, and social media. There is so much pressure for them to excel in academics, sports, socially, and still be a good kid. Usually the easiest thing to forego is sleep. However, this is a mistake.

So for this next year, consider a New Year’s Resolution of everyone in the house getting enough sleep. Your whole family will benefit.

Helping teens grow and families improve connection,
Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT

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