Why Sleep is Essential for Teenagers


Sleep is vital for people of any age, especially teenagers because it fuels the brain and body. Sleep is an altered state of consciousness where we have limited interactions with the outside world and are relatively quiet and at peace. In contrast to our quiet physical state, the brain is very active during sleep, carrying out lots of important functions. Teens need around 8-10 hours of sleep a day, but a high proportion of students do not get that amount. 

Both the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine agree that teens need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Sleeping for 8-10 hours a day may not seem that important, but teens who are overtired are most likely to struggle in school, have trouble with concentration and motivation and feel depressed or anxious.

“In teenagers, good quality sleep is especially important for physical health, emotional and mental development, and school performance,”  Importance of Sleep for Teenagers said. “During the teenage years, sleep benefits brain development and function, which enhances attention span and improves memory and cognitive abilities.”

Thinking & Academic Achievement:

Sleep benefits the brain and promotes attention, memory and analytical thought. It allows the brain to function sharper and increase stamina. Sleep also facilitates expansive thinking that can spur creativity

Emotional Health:

Inadequate sleep can affect mood, irritability and exaggerated emotional reactions. Prolonged sleep loss may negatively affect emotional development. Mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are often linked to the effect of poor sleep.

Physical Health & Development:

Sleep contributes to the effective function of every body system. It gives power to the immune system, regulates hormones and enables muscle and tissue recovery. 

 “Surveys conducted by the NSF reveal that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more,” American Psychological Association reported. 

 “It’s hard for teenagers to get enough sleep because they stay up on their phones and catch up on social media, and other students who are taking a lot of rigorous courses are spending a lot of time working on assignments and studying their material,” Lambert counselor Dr. De La Cruz said. “Some may not learn how to balance their curriculum. They might be taking courses that are taking up too much of their time, and this makes maintaining a balance pretty hard.”

Overall, adequate sleep is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude inside and out. Getting plenty of sleep may seem hard, but there are many ways that you can overcome that and live a healthy life. Some effective ways that everyone can get enough sleep are:

  • Go to sleep at the same time each night
  • Don’t take naps after 3 pm, and don’t nap longer than 30 minutes
  • Stay away from caffeine later in the day
  • Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime
  • Makes your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet and not too warm or cold
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day
  • Avoid screen time right before bed