How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need?
Just how much sleep do teenagers need? If you’re a parent of a teenager, you might be all too familiar with the common sleep habits of an adolescent.
Teenagers have long carried a reputation for staying up late and sleeping in even later. One study found that only 15% of teenagers reported sleeping for 8 1/2 hours on school nights. That’s quite a concerning statistic considering teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours per night to function.
What is it that causes this mass disruption of the teenage sleep habit?
Our bodies have a natural internal clock called the “circadian”, which is latin for “about 24 hours”. Our circadian rhythm influences things such as our body temperature, hormonal changes, and even our appetite.
Before we reach adolescence, our natural circadian rhythm typically leads children to fall asleep naturally between 8 or 9PM. Once we hit our adolescent years, our circadian rhythm resets temporarily, which leads to us falling asleep later and sleeping in later.
To lessen the impact of the natural circadian change, teenagers should make changes to their evening routine.
Avoid caffeine up to six hours before bedtime, and turn off TV screens an hour before going to bed. If possible, you should also avoid your phone screen an hour before going to sleep. The blue light emitted from screens can suppress the release of melatonin, otherwise known as the sleep hormone.