Home | Teen Help and Teen Issues Articles | Get Teen Help for a Troubled Teen with Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment...CLICK HERE!
Information you should know about troubled teens
» Need teen help?
» What is normal?
» What are warning signs?
» Troubled Teen Programs
» Teen Drug Abuse
» Troubled Teen Issues
» Teen Mental Health
» Other Resources
How Much Sleep Does a Teenager Need?

Many parents and teens might be wondering how much sleep does a teenager need? It is common for parents to force their teens out of bed on the weekend or during the summer when they notice their teen is still in bed at noon. Sleeping late is just one characteristic many teens have.


However, sleeping late many not be essential to a teen's development, which is why many wonder how much sleep does a teenage need. To answer this question, it is important for parents and teens to realize that getting enough sleep is just as important as not sleeping too much. Sleeping too much can cause lethargy in a teen's day-to-day activities and may actually slow development. However, as many adults can also attest to, getting enough sleep is an essential part of being able to function normally throughout the day. 

How much sleep does a teenager need?

According to researchers, teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to function at their best capacity. However, some teens can easily succeed with 8 1/2 hours each night. However, one study recently found that most teens do not get enough sleep. Only about 15 percent of teens report sleeping 8 1/2 hour on weeknights. Lack of sleep can cause problems with being able to cope with stress, the ability of the immune system to stay strong and the ability to focus, do work, study and concentrate throughout the day.  Teens usually are unable to go to sleep prior to 11 p.m. because of the way their biological clock has shifted since childhood. 

There are many reasons as to why teens do not get enough sleep. Many teens do not get enough sleep because they have such an irregular sleep schedule. They may go to bed early and get up early for school on weekdays, but on weekends they will choose to stay up late and will sleep in until the afternoon. Because of this, it messes with the body's biological clock and will hurt the quality of the teen's sleep. There are other reasons for lack of sleep for a teenager. One of these reasons could be teen depression. The inability to sleep is often associated with mild to severe depression. Teens may also have trouble sleeping because of drug and alcohol use or eating disorders. These physical and emotional issues can play a giant toll on the amount of sleep one is getting. Teens might stay up late drinking or doing drugs that affect their sleep schedules. While it is not good to jump to conclusions about whether or not your teen is doing drugs or drinking, it might be a good idea to talk with them and monitor their behavior to determine if they are participating in these behaviors, which can also cause even more severe problems than just lack of sleep. Addiction and health problems can result from doing drugs and drinking alcohol. Teens with depression will also have a difficult time sleeping. This type of behavior can also go hand in hand with eating disorders. If your teen is having trouble sleeping, it is important to try and get to the bottom of these behaviors. If you are a teen with sleeping troubles, it is important to recognize if you are experiencing depression or if you are participating in activities like drinking and drugs that can inhibit your ability to sleep well. If this is the case, it is important to get help as soon as possible. 

Solutions to sleeping better:

There are a few different ways you can work toward having a better night's sleep. First of all, it is important to make sleep a priority. Know and understand what kinds of lifestyle changes you will have to make in order to get better sleep. Naps are a great way to get the additional sleep you need if you time them correctly. If you sleep too long or too close to night time, they will interfere with your regular sleep schedule. Keep to a schedule. While it is fun to sleep in on the weekends, it greatly disrupts a person's sleep schedule and can make it difficult during the week. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed because all can interfere with your sleep. Also try to avoid the TV, computer and other brightly lit screens prior to bed. Studies have shown that those kinds of screens and lighting interfere with sleep. Keep a routine to help you sleep better. This will help your body prepare and know that it is time for bed. If sleep is still a struggle, it might be a sign of a more serious issue, and is important to consult with a doctor to determine what could be causing the troubles with sleep and how to resolve the issue.

Sources: sleepfoundation.org 

Related Article: Teen Cocaine Use >>

Copyright© 2009 - Troubled Teen 101 - Help For Troubled Teen Issues privacy policy | terms of use | about troubled teens | contact us | We offer Teen Help Solutions through Residential Treatment Centers, Boarding Schools, and Specialty Private Schools for Troubled Teens.