The body of a teenager is special. At this age, circadian rhythms may not coincide well with the rhythm of life. This can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue. Here's some advice scientists give teenagers to get enough sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has released an educational video titled “Why Teens Are So Sleepy” that provides advice on healthy sleep for teens. The video, which contains subtitles with the ability to automatically translate into Russian, begins with the question “Are teenagers lazy?”. The answer is no. According to the experts of the academy, the biological clock or circadian rhythms of adolescents are poorly adapted to the conditions of modern life.
“With responsibilities to school, work, family and friends, it is difficult for teenagers to get enough sleep to be at their best. While it may look like teens sleep a lot, most of them don't get enough sleep and try to make up for it on the weekends,” said Raman Malhotra, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a press release.
Why teenagers don't get enough sleep
By adolescence, a person's pattern of production of the “sleep hormone” melatonin changes. This leads to a “late” circadian rhythm: a later onset of sleep (no earlier than 11 p.m.) and a preference to wake up later.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens aged 13-18 get 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Given that it takes some time to fall asleep after going to bed, they need to sleep until at least 7:30 in the morning. The school schedule often does not allow this. In this regard, the academy believes that classes at school should begin earlier than 8:30.
“Changing school start times better aligns with circadian rhythms and positively impacts academic performance, health and safety. Starting classes later is associated with longer sleep, greater engagement, teenagers are not so sleepy and tired,” said Malhotra.
Insomnia needs to be treated
With insomnia and nightmares, our brain gives a signal for help: “Help! I feel bad! Pay attention to me!”
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We could not find data on the sleep of teenagers in Russia. It is known that in the US, about 68% of them sleep no more than 7 hours, only 23% sleep 8 hours, 9% – longer.
What threatens sleep deprivation in adolescence
Lack of sleep in adolescents is associated with:
How can teenagers get good sleep?
Academy video includes tips for teenagers on how to improve their sleep.< /span>
How to improve your sleep. 10 Tips for Teens from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- Be physically active every day.
- Try not to caffeine after school.
- Nap periods after school should be no more than 30 minutes. You should not sleep after 4 pm.
- Eat at the same time and do not eat before bed.
- Late in the evening Lights at home should be dimmed.
- Put aside your smartphone and other electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime.
- Give time to relax and unwind before going to bed.
- Tick to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
- When prompted, open the curtains: you need bright daylight.
- Stay asleep on the weekends if possible.