It is hard to imagine why teens could be losing sleep. They wake up early and are busy the entire day, but, unlike adults, they are healthy and somewhat more carefree. So, they shouldn’t have a problem sleeping, right? This may be true for some, but there are teenagers who have trouble getting valuable snooze time. Everyone knows how important sleep is. This allows the mind to rest and to process information. It is also during sleep when regeneration and repair occurs at the body’s cellular level, which makes it even more essential for a youngster who is still growing and developing.
What could be causing teenagers to lose sleep? Here are a few reasons to ponder on.
1. Adjustment and Adaptation
Once children reach the stage of adolescence, they undergo so many changes, not only physically, but also mentally and socially. Adapting to so many changes can make their lives very stressful. The challenges that they face in school become more daunting, and while they have to cope with academics, there are also so many social issues that they have to deal with too. With all the things happening to a teen, it’s no wonder that he experiences moodiness, frustration, and so many other worries that plague his mind and cause him to lose sleep.
2. Biological Changes
A child’s internal biological clock is slightly different from that of a teenager. A prepubescent youngster generally feels sleepy at around 7 or 8 pm. His circadian rhythm, however, changes as he reaches adolescence. During this time, his body tells him to sleep and wake up later. Teens also have a harder time falling asleep because their brain reduces its production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps in managing the sleep-wake cycle.
Yes, a significant number of youngsters also experience insomnia. The causes of acute insomnia are varied, from health disturbances, like cough and colds, to family problems, or to stress in school. Sleeplessness can also be due to being in an environment that is not conducive to resting or sleeping. There are also cases of chronic insomnia wherein the causes are more serious. Young people who experience frequent insomnia could be suffering from more serious mental health problems. The condition can also be due to drug use or substance abuse.
Most people, even toddlers, already have easy access to modern devices. These gadgets can also be the culprits as to why teens are staying up later than usual. They are busy texting, IM-ing, chatting, or surfing the net. Some keep themselves awake just to reach the next level of their favorite video or online game. Others stay up most of the night updating their Facebook page or Twitter account. To avoid such circumstances, parents must set parameters when it comes to gadget or computer use.
5. Television and Movies
A lot of kids stay up late watching television, even on a school night. This isn’t a good habit. Also, teens today have access to the latest DVDs of their favorite television series or movies. So, they could stay up an entire night doing a TV series or movie marathon.
6. School Work
Teens also have to cope with the demands of school. There are research papers and assignments to be done, as well as projects to do and exams or quizzes to prepare for. A lot of students are also busy with extra-curricular activities that take up time and add to their stress as well.
Claire Thorpe is a freelance writer and a mother who continues to blog about parenting and health issues. Some of the materials that she’s written have been used by Parklane Mattresses. She hopes that the info that she’s shared will help in educating and inspiring readers.