How many sleeping hours do a teen need?
A teenager needs between nine and ten hours of sleep every night, as suggested by sleep researchers. Yet most adolescents only get about seven or eight hours and some get even less than that.
Chronic sleep deprivation occurs if you regularly don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can reduce academic performance at school.
Common causes of sleep deprivation in teenagers:
Hormonal time shift
Puberty hormones shift the teenager’s body clock forward by about one or two hours. This time shift makes them sleepier one to two hours later.
Frenzied after-school schedule
Factors that cut into a teenager’s sleeping time include homework, sport, part-time work and social commitments
The enticement of encouraging entertainment can keep a teenager out of bed. These activities include television, the internet and computer gaming.
Exposure to light
Light prompts the brain to stay awake
Insufficient sleep causes a teenager’s brain to become more active
Sleep disorders or sleep apnoea can affect how many sleeping hours a teenager gets
Effects of sleep deprivation to your body
The effects of chronic (ongoing) sleep deprivation may include concentration difficulties, mentally ‘drifting off’ in class, and shortened attention span. The effects of sleep deprivation to your body also include effects such as memory impairment, poor decision making, and lack of enthusiasm, and depression.
Avoiding sleep deprivation tips for teenagers
- Choose a relaxing bedtime routine, for example, have a bath and read a book before going to bed.
- Avoid activity that gets your mind racing such as loud music, homework, computer games or any other for about an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid watching television right before bed, and in the morning, expose your eyes to lots of light to help waken up your brain.
- To associate a routine with going to sleep, repeat the same bedtime routine every night for at least four weeks.
- After four weeks of repeating your set routine, start your bedtime routine a little earlier than usual.
- Late nights will undo your hard work so avoid staying up late on the weekends.
Sleeping hours: Issues to consider
If you’re still having problems with lack of sleep despite all the best efforts and methods you have used, these suggestions may help:
- Evaluate your sleep hygiene and the factors that have caused your sleep interruption
- To help you wind down in readiness for sleep, consider learning a relaxation technique
- Avoid consuming any food or drink that contains caffeine after dinnertime; caffeine keeps your brain awake.
- Seek help from a doctor if self-help techniques still do not increase your nightly sleep quota.
Things to remember about sleeping hours
- A teenager needs between nine and ten hours of sleep every night as suggested by sleep research
- Chronic sleep deprivation can cause dramatic effects on a teenager’s life, including reduced academic performance at school.
- All recreational drugs including alcohol, caffeinated drinks and cannabis and chocolate can cause broken sleep.