Teenagers And Sleep: Help Them Get What They Need
Sterni and Crocetti both recommend that parents take teenagers and sleepseriously. Begin by modeling good sleep habits, such as adhering to aregular sleep schedule, cutting back on evening caffeine, and exercisingregularly. They also suggest these teen-specific and time-tested tips.
Schedule a checkup.Pediatricians can educate teens on how much sleep is enough, recommendhealthy sleep habits, and screen them for common teen sleep disorders,including sleep apnea, insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders.
Start the day in sunshine.Having breakfast outside or by a sunny window helps regulate the bodysbiological clock, making it easier for teens to wake up in the morning anddrift off at night.
Encourage the connection.When your teen is well-rested, ask how he felt that day while taking a testor playing a sport. Help him come to the conclusion that sleepimproves his outlookand help him realize how much sleep is enough.
Tie good sleep to car privileges.Sleep deprivation in teens can lead to accidents. I tell my teenage son hecant drive to school in the morning if hes not getting enough sleep,says Crocetti.
Help teens rethink their schedule.If your teen typically starts homework after evening activities, help himfind an earlier time to get started. Ultra-busy schedules may requireparing down.
Sleep Physiology In Adolescence
Another developmental change manifest in the adolescent brain is an increase in white matter volume. Although direct evidence for an association between white matter volume and measures of the sleep EEG is lacking, one EEG measure of connectivityâsleeping EEG coherenceâ showed a linear increase in a study of adolescents similar to adolescent changes in white matter volume . As with the decline in sleep EEG power, this increase in coherence is found across frequencies and sleep states, indicating an anatomical substrate. Furthermore, the peak spectral frequency of sleep spindles also shows a linear increase across adolescence ,,,. Again, although direct evidence is lacking, we have hypothesized that this sleep spindle frequency increase reflects a measure of cortical myelination . Interestingly, the rate of change in sleep EEG power and coherence are not correlated, suggesting separate processes .
Is Sleep A Magic Pill For Teen Wellness In A Mental Health Crisis
Sleep can go a long way in improving mental and physical health, but teens arent getting enough of it and research suggests the pandemic made things worse
When parents tell Denise Pope, an adolescent well-being expert, theyre worried for their childrens mental health, she responds with a question.
How many hours are they sleeping?
Concerns for youth depression, anxiety and suicide have risen amid a deadly pandemic that disrupted schools across the country and isolated teens from their friends. Experts agree that consistent, sweet slumber can go a long way toward making many students feel better but research suggests teens are skimping on this vital resource, and the problem has only worsened with Covid-19.
Based on increased demand for behavioral health services over the past four months, Colorado childrens hospital recently declared a pediatric mental health state of emergency. The hospitals chief medical officer said the situation is more severe than anything he has seen in his 20 years of practice.
Families are facing many ills during the pandemic that sleep cant fix, including death and economic loss. But Pope, co-founder of the Stanford University-affiliated nonprofit Challenge Success, offers a metaphor for sleeps powers, which she credits to psychologist Lisa Demour.
Well, we do have that magic pill. Its called sleep, says Pope.
In her work with these students, Button emphasizes the importance of good sleep hygiene.
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Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On The Teenage Brain
Lack of rest has a negative impact on the functioning of the emotional regulation circuit of the brain. In studies conducted by Matthew T. Feldner, a professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas, people who lost a night of sleep responded with more emotion to stressors presented in the lab.
One study examined how teenagers reacted during the day when they hadnt gotten enough sleep. Sleep-deprived teens found stressful situations much more threatening than the more mature study participants.
Furthermore, researchers have found that sleep-deprived teens feel more depressed and anxious. In a study of nearly 28,000 high school students, each hour of lost rest was associated with a 38 percent increase in the risk of feeling sad or hopeless, and a 58 percent increase in suicide attempts. Another study found that high school seniors were three times more likely to have depression symptoms if they had excessive daytime sleepiness.
What Happens To A Teenager Who Doesnt Get Enough Sleep
Cant focus- Without enough nightly sleep teenagers cant focus. When exhaustion sets in a simple conversation can become a struggle.Low energy- A body sleeps to recharge itself and without the right amount of sleep the energy is going to be low in a teenager.Hindered learning- A teenagers brain is always learning new things. Without the proper rest none of that knowledge is being taken in. Learning becomes a struggle.Aggravation and Stress- Sometimes a teenager who is normally calm can start to show signs of aggravation and stress toward people. Sleep deprived can cause mood swings, which can easily shift frequently.Unhealthy eating Teenagers have a tendency to eat some unhealthy food as a norm, but when they are exhausted they will turn to unhealthy choices more often.Depression- Being sleep deprived can possibly lead to depression, due to not thinking clearly and feeling like nothing is going right in their world. Depression can set in quickly with a teenager and getting more sleep may help correct some of it.Skin and stomach issues- Sometimes not getting enough sleep aggravates the body and it starts to act up in ways such as, unhealthy skin issues and even stomach issues. This can also be linked to unhealthy eating.Illness- When a teenagers body doesnt get the proper rest there is more chance of catching illnesses. The immune system doesnt work properly when the body is tired.
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Thinking And Academic Achievement
Sleep benefits the brain and promotes attention, memory, and analytical thought. It makes thinking sharper, recognizing the most important information to consolidate learning. Sleep also facilitates expansive thinking that can spur creativity. Whether its studying for a test, learning an instrument, or acquiring job skills, sleep is essential for teens.
Given the importance of sleep for brain function, its easy to see why teens who dont get enough sleep tend to suffer from excessive drowsiness and lack of attention that can harm their academic performance.
Leg Three: Community Involvement
Schools and students benefit in many ways through connections with community businesses and organizations. For example, expanded funding streams can become available through partnerships. Teachers are able to connect with service providers who can add value to in-and out of class lessons. Schools also can receive donations to use for school projects.
Community partnerships open doors for students to learn what local employers need in future employees. At the same time, it affords employers a chance to influence local school offerings.
For example, schools who have implemented STEM or STEAM programs connect with employers who represent those areas. Those employers provide real-world, insider perspectives on science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. These interactions excite the learning process and encourage students to pursue work they might not have otherwise considered.
Cajon Valley Union School District created the World of Work program to connect with community businesses. Their goal is to help students see how education fits into their future work life.
The program encourages the exploration of ones strengths, interests, and values. Not every child needs or wants to attend a traditional four-year university. Programs like World of Work show students how diverse the world of work is .
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Develop A Routine For The Week
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps regulate our body clock and makes sleep more natural.
Lie-ins can seem great, but try to keep wake-up times on weekdays and weekends to within two hours of each other. This means you wont throw out your sleep cycle.
If you find it difficult to go to bed at a regular time, set an alarm as a reminder.
Naps can make it more difficult to sleep at night, but for some, they help recharge you quickly. They dont suit everyone though. Keep them under 45 minutes.
Iv Competing For Sleep
Teens have to balance the weight of many demands on their time. The biggest of these demands is school. Most schools start class very early in the morning. After a long day at school, teens may also have to study for hours at home. An early start and a lot of homework can combine to make it hard for them to get to sleep on time.
Teens are faced with a lot of other things that compete for their time. Once they are old enough, many of them begin to work after school. Some simply want to have their own money to spend. Others have to do this to help their families. Older siblings may also be needed at home to look after younger brothers or sisters. After class is out, schools offer many sports teams, clubs, and activities that teens can join. These can take up as much time as a job. Of course, many teens also like to spend hours of their time with friends. With all of these options facing them, there simply isn’t enough time for teens to do it all. They have to give something up. Far too often, it is their sleep that gets left out.
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Chicken Or The Egg: Mental Health And Sleep Disorders
Now that we understand the connection between sleep and mental health, it begs the question: are the disorders causing sleep problems, or is a lack of sleep leading to more mental health issues? Unfortunately, it appears to be a complicated answer since you can answer yes to both of these questions.
The key to better sleep and improved mental health is to address both of these issues simultaneously. If your child needs mental health support, then you should also be proactively addressing their sleep patterns.
Sleep Talking And Sleepwalking
Sleep talking is a relatively common parasomnia involving vocalizations during sleep. Sleep talking appears to occur more frequently during light sleep, so proper sleep hygiene may help reduce episodes. While harmless on its own, sleep talking may disturb other people in the bedroom. It is sometimes connected to other sleep disorders such as nightmares or sleepwalking.
Research suggests that 1 in 3 children will sleepwalk before the age of 13, with most episodes occurring in the pre-teen years. As with sleep talkers, sleepwalkers are not aware of their surroundings and usually have no recollection of their activity afterward. In addition to daytime sleepiness, sleepwalking can have serious consequences depending on the persons actions. If your child sleepwalks, its a good idea to safety-proof their bedroom and install an alarm. Waking someone up about half an hour before their regular sleepwalking episode occurs has proven useful.
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Teenage Sleep Deprivation Statistics And Mental Health
A study of close to 5,000 teens found that depression and anxiety symptoms were closely linked with sleep deprivation in teens: Teenagers with depression symptoms got 3.5 hours less sleep on average than the control group. Moreover, sleep deprivation at age 15 increased the likelihood of mental health problems in the ensuing years.
This longitudinal study confirms what we see clinicallythat poor sleep during adolescence can be a fork in the road, where a teens mental health can deteriorate if not treated, said study co-author Michael Gradisar.
Why do teens need more sleep? Their bodies and brains are still developing, and sleep provides an essential revitalization of all the bodily systems.
What Causes Sleep Deprivation In Teens
Why arent some teens getting the sleep they need? One of the biggest issues is that their biological sleep patterns dont always make it easy. Its not uncommon for most teenagers to find it difficult to fall asleep before 11:00 p.m. Unfortunately, if they have an alarm to get them up for school too early, theyre losing a few hours of sleep that could be necessary to their overall health.
Additionally, teenagers tend to create their own abnormal sleep patterns by shifting their schedules on a regular basis. They might go to bed at an earlier time on school nights, but when the weekend rolls around, its more likely that they will stay up later. This can make it difficult for them to get back into the habit of going to bed earlier during the week.
Finally, teens are just as susceptible to treatable sleep disorders as adults. Conditions such as insomnia or sleep anxiety can keep them awake for hours. Sleep anxiety is a vicious cycle: When someone is anxious to go to bed, it will affect the ability to sleep, and that lack of sleep causes a person to become even more anxious. Other mental health conditions, like depression or bipolar disorder, can also have an effect on the quality of sleep a teenager is getting each night.
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Sleep: An Active Role In Brain Development
Sleep is not only an opportunity to measure otherwise unperturbed brain activity, but recent studies also suggest that sleep itself may play an active role in sculpting the adolescent brain. Using two-photon microscopy in adolescent mice, for example, Maret and colleagues found that synaptic spine elimination was higher during sleep than during waking in adolescent but not adult mice, suggesting a distinctive role for sleep in the adolescent brain . Correlational studies in humans have also found associations between sleep behavior and brain development. One such study examined structural MRI scans in 290 children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18 years and found that self-reported sleep duration was positively correlated with bilateral hippocampal grey matter volume . Another study found an association in adolescents between variability in sleep duration across fourteen days and white mater integrity as measured with diffusion tensor MRI . Although this line of research is in its nascent stage, evidence for a role of sleep in brain development is emerging.
Why Teenagers Need Quality Sleep For Mental Health
Many people assume that the effects of poor sleep are inconsequential. But the seemingly small results of low-quality sleep have an impact on mental health over time.
Correlation doesnt necessarily mean causation. But researchers are finding that lack of sleep could be a major factor contributing to mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. For example, a study at the University of Texas Health Science Centre discovered that the risk of depression increases 4x in teens who are sleep deprived.
In addition to mental health concerns from a lack of sleep, the risk of physical issues also goes up. For example, patients with chronic sleep deprivation have a higher risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
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An Opportunity To Recharge
Most experts agree that, depending on a parents approach, a mental health day can teach kids and teens a valuable lesson. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, mental health expert and author of Think, Learn, Succeed, says, Often that one day off can really help motivate a child and help them feel energized and recharged, thus boosting overall mental and physical performance.
The Relationship Between Sleep And Mental Health In Teens
Historically, sleep problems have been associated with a number of psychiatric disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Although correlation doesn’t always equal causation, recent research indicates that lack of sleep may be more than just a symptom of these disorders — it might be one of the primary contributing factors.
A research study carried out at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and published in Word Psychiatry found that depression and suicidal thoughts were just as common in teens with poor sleep habits as those who engaged in risky behaviors. Another study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Centre found teens were four times as likely to be depressed if they were sleep deprived.
So, is lack of sleep causing these disorders, or are the disorders making it difficult for the person to get adequate sleep? Well, it seems to be a two-way street: lack of sleep can exacerbate or give rise to a number of disorders, but likewise, many disorders can cause poor sleeping habits.
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Is There A Correlation With Childrens Mental Health And A Schools Success
What does school success mean? There is no unified or universal definition of this, but there are a few commonalities. Some cite academic excellence as the main target. Others add real-world skills development to this. And still others, include an emphasis on character strengths. One could argue that schools that manage all three are succeeding.
Is there an actual correlation between the mental health of students and the success of a school? Most studies look at this question from a slightly different angle. That is, How does a childs mental health affect their success in school? Looking at it this way makes it easier to analyze possible correlations.
Emotional and behavioral issues lead to more time out of the classroom for students. This is especially true for students in special education. Suspensions, both in-and-out of school, contribute to the child getting further behind. Labeling the student as the bad kid or troublemaker contributes to a downward spiral.
For instance, research shows that more than 77,000 children in special education receive suspensions or expulsions for more than 10 consecutive days . Students in special education include those with varying degrees of autism, anxiety, and learning disorders.
Dropping out of school also reduces ones quality of life. More education generally leads to a longer life span. Someone with less than a high school education lives 9.2 fewer years than persons who graduate .