How Often Should A Teenage Hang Out With Friends
How Often Should A Teenage Hang Out With Friends – Teens and Sleep An overview of why teens face unique sleep challenges and tips to help them sleep better
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How Often Should A Teenage Hang Out With Friends
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Couple Of Teenagers Hanging Out Outdoors
Teenage years are a formative period. The brain and body undergo significant development, and the transition to adulthood brings major changes that affect emotions, personality, social and family life, and academics.
Sleep is essential during this time, working behind the scenes to allow teenagers to be at their best. Unfortunately, research shows that many teenagers get far less sleep than they need.
Both the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine agree that teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a night. Getting this recommended amount of sleep can help teens maintain their physical health, emotional well-being, and school performance.
At the same time, teenagers face many challenges in getting consistent, restorative sleep. Recognizing these challenges helps teens and their parents create a plan to help teens get the sleep they need.
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Sleep is essential for people of any age. For teenagers, however, deep mental, physical, social and emotional development requires quality sleep.
Sleep benefits the brain and promotes attention, memory and analytical thinking. It makes thinking sharper, recognizing the most important information to consolidate learning. Sleep also facilitates expansive thinking, which can fuel creativity. Whether it’s studying for a test, learning an instrument, or gaining job skills, sleep is essential for teenagers.
Given the importance of sleep to brain function, it’s easy to see why teenagers who don’t get enough sleep tend to suffer from excessive sleepiness and lack of attention, which can harm their academic performance.
Most people have experienced how sleep can affect mood, causing irritability and exaggerated emotional reactions. Over time, the consequences can be even greater for teenagers who are adjusting to greater independence, responsibility, and new social relationships.
Sweet Teens Hanging Out Stock Image. Image Of Cousins
Prolonged sleep loss can negatively affect emotional development, increasing the risk of interpersonal conflicts, as well as more serious mental problems.
Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder are routinely linked to poor sleep, and lack of sleep in teenagers can increase the risk of suicide. Improving teen sleep can play a role in preventing mental health disorders or reducing their symptoms.
Sleep contributes to the efficient functioning of almost all systems in the body. It strengthens the immune system, helps regulate hormones and enables muscle and tissue recovery.
Significant physical development occurs during adolescence and can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation. For example, researchers have found that teenagers who don’t get enough sleep have a problematic metabolic profile that can put them at greater risk for diabetes and long-term cardiovascular problems.
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Lack of sleep can affect the development of the frontal lobe, a part of the brain that is crucial for controlling impulsive behavior. Not surprisingly, many studies have found that teens who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as drunk driving, texting while driving, riding bicycles without a helmet and not wearing a seat belt. Drug and alcohol use, smoking, risky sexual behavior, fighting and carrying weapons have also been identified as more likely in teenagers who get too little sleep.
Behavioral problems can have widespread effects on a teenager’s life, damaging their academic performance as well as their relationships with family and friends.
Not getting enough sleep in teenagers can make them vulnerable to accidental injury and even death. Of particular concern is the increased risk of accidents as a result of drowsy driving. Studies have found that sleep deprivation can reduce reaction time with an effect similar to that of heavy alcohol consumption. In teenagers, the effect of drowsy driving can be exacerbated by a lack of driving experience and a higher rate of distracted driving.
By almost all accounts, many teenagers in America are not getting the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night. In the 2006 Sleep in America survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of teens reported getting less than eight hours a night.
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The problem may be getting worse. Data from four national surveys conducted from 2007 to 2013 found that nearly 69% of high school students sleep seven or fewer hours a night. Estimates show that the rate of insomnia among teenagers is as high as 23.8%.
Lack of sleep among teenagers is higher in women than in men. Older teens report getting less sleep than people in early adolescence. Research has also found that teenagers who identify as black, Asian and multiracial have the highest rates of sleeping less than eight hours a night.
There is no single reason for lack of sleep among teenagers. Several factors contribute to this problem, and these factors can vary from teenager to teenager.
During adolescence, there is a strong tendency to be a “night owl”, staying up later in the evening and sleeping longer until the morning. Experts believe that this is a dual biological drive that affects the circadian rhythm and the sleep-wake cycle of teenagers.
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First, teenagers have a slower-developing sleep drive, which means they don’t start feeling tired until later in the evening. Second, the body waits longer to start producing melatonin, a hormone that helps promote sleep.
If allowed to sleep on their own schedule, many teenagers would get eight hours or more a night, sleeping from 11 p.m. or midnight to 8 or 9 a.m., but school start times in most school districts force teenagers to wake up much earlier in the morning. Because of the biological delay in the sleep-wake cycle, many teenagers simply cannot fall asleep early enough to get eight or more hours of sleep and still make it to school on time.
With reduced weekday sleep, teens may try to catch up by sleeping in on the weekend, but this can exacerbate their late sleep patterns and inconsistent night’s rest.
Teenagers often have their hands full. Schoolwork, work responsibilities, household chores, social life, social activities and sports are just some of the things that can demand one’s time and attention.
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With so much to fit into each day, many teenagers don’t have enough time to sleep. They may stay up late during the week to finish homework or on the weekend to hang out with friends, which can boost their night owl schedule.
The pressure to succeed while fulfilling these extensive responsibilities can be stressful, and excessive stress is known to contribute to sleep problems and insomnia.
Electronic devices like cell phones and tablets are ubiquitous among teens, and surveys like the 2014 Sleep in America survey reveal that 89% or more of teens keep at least one device in their bedroom at night.
Screen time late at night can contribute to sleep problems. Using these devices can keep a teenager’s brain wired, and incoming notifications can cause interrupted and fragmented sleep. Evidence also suggests suppressed melatonin production due to cell phone light exposure.
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Some teenagers have poor sleep due to an underlying sleep disorder. Teens can be affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. OSA often causes fragmented sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Although less common, teenagers can have sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome (RLS), which involves a strong need to move the limbs while lying down, and narcolepsy, which is a disorder that affects the sleep-wake cycle.
Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can be a challenge for quality sleep in teenagers and adults. Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to these conditions, creating a two-way relationship that can worsen both sleep and emotional health.
Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), can make it difficult for teenagers to sleep well. Lack of sleep can also contribute to more pronounced symptoms of these conditions.
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Teens who have trouble sleeping should start talking to their doctor about how much sleep they’re getting and how it’s affecting their daily life. Their pediatrician can work to identify any underlying causes and come up with the most appropriate and personalized treatment.
Depending on the cause of the sleep problem, medications may be considered; however, in most cases, drug treatment is not necessary for teenagers to sleep better.
A helpful step is for teens to review and improve their sleep hygiene, which includes their sleeping environment and habits. Some healthy sleep tips that can help with this process include:
Sleep hygiene modifications can be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a form of talk therapy for sleep problems that has been shown to be effective in adults and may be helpful for teenagers. CBT-I works by reframing negative ideas and thoughts about sleep and implementing practical steps for better sleep routines.
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For many parents, the first step is to ask their teenage children about their sleep, as research shows that many parents do not realize that their children have sleep problems.
Parents can encourage teenagers to see a
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