Sleep deprivation in teens has been linked to depression, anxiety, stress, and more. One of the parts of a teen’s life it disrupts the most is school. It makes a teen unable to concentrate and take in information, interrupting the entire learning process. Because of this, parents have a responsibility to intervene and make sure their teens are getting enough sleep.
How sleep deprivation in teens affects school
Everyone knows how many hours a teenager is supposed to get: 8 to 10. But how many do they usually get? According to the National Sleep Foundation, only around 15 percent of teens report getting the minimum amount of sleep. That means more than 4 out of 5 teens is sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation in teens is running rampant across the US, but what are the effects in school? Well, if a teen only gets 7 hours of sleep during the weekdays, they’ve accumulated 5 to 10 hours of “sleep debt” by the weekend. Sometimes that “sleep debt” can be made up during the weekend, but oftentimes it cannot, leading to a downward slope into sleep deprivation. Even if they take naps after school, this messes with their circadian rhythm–making it even harder to fall asleep at the correct time.
A sleep deprived teen often has trouble focusing, staying alert, learning information, taking tests, solving problems, listening, and more. These are all things students have to do during the school day, which means sleep deprivation in teens directly affects how teenagers perform academically.
Fitting sleep into your teen’s schedule
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help combat sleep deprivation in teens and fit those z’s into your teen’s schedule:
- Avoid Screens Before Bed. Screens aren’t just a distraction, the blue light they emit disrupts your inner clock, making your body think it’s not time to go to bed.
- No Caffeine or Sugar Before Bed. Both of these are known to keep people awake, so it makes sense to avoid them. If your family usually has dessert after dinner, maybe substitute that for ripe fruit or something with no refined sugars.
- Do the Same Things Before Bed. By doing the same tasks before bed (ex. Showering then reading a book) you teach your body that when you do those things, it’s a signal that sleep needs to happen soon.
Asheville Academy for Girls can help
Asheville Academy, a residential treatment center in a traditional school setting for girls 10-14, helps teen girls struggling with anxiety, depression and other emotional and behavioral issues. If your daughter’s worries about going back to school are more than just normal fears, consider sending her to Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school. With a caring staff and a clinically based program, Asheville Academy can help your daughter feel comfortable with school.
For more information about how Asheville Academy for Girls can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today!