Silver Chips Online

HealthChips: No more sleepless nights

By Saaraa Farooq, Online News Editor
September 6, 2012
HealthChips is a weekly blog focusing on healthy living and wellness. Come back next Thursday for the next edition of HealthChips.

School's back in session and summer's almost over. Let's face the facts, no more staying up until hours late at night expecting to sleep through the next day. Yes, we know, waking up early again is a pain while many still haven't gotten out of that wacky summer sleep schedule (nocturnal, anyone?). But don't fret, help is here! In order to prevent sleep deprivation and face-plants on your desk, here are a few tips.

Teens need a full night's rest to be fully functional. You don't want to end up doing a face-plant on the desk. Courtesy of Chatham University
Teens need a full night's rest to be fully functional. You don't want to end up doing a face-plant on the desk.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you is, get the full eight hours a night of sleep. Yes, we've all heard it before, but believe it or not, teenagers need more sleep than other people do. Usually eight and a half to nine hours is ideal, but of course sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Being a teenager is a tough job- juggling school, extracurricular activities, homework, social demands, part-time jobs and much more. With all that pressure, it's hard to even consider sleeping for eight or nine hours.

It may not seem like much time to give up when there are two projects to finish and a math test to study for, but sleep deprivation adds up. Tired teens can find it difficult to concentrate and stay awake in class and too little sleep contributes to mood swings and behavioral problems. Also, attention please, student drivers out there- drowsy driving can lead to deadly accidents, so sleep is a must.

Why are teens sleep deprived? Well, for each teenager it may be different. Some people just donít have the time to get a full night's sleep with their busy schedules. Experts believe that a teen's biological clock is set for two hours later than people of other ages. Studies by psychologists have been conducted to show that at puberty teens go to sleep later than when they were kids.

For all of those teens that can't go to sleep at a regular hour each night, there are a few things that should be changed in order sleep at a normal time. Try establishing a reasonable bedtime and wake time and keep it consistent throughout the week. Even creating a bedtime routine to do every night such as doing a quiet activity before you sleep or doing something that definitely will make you sleepy. All of the teen coffee drinkers should beware to not have any caffeine near bedtime. There are also some teens that have extra energy before going to bed, so to get rid of it, they should try some daily exercises a couple hours before going to sleep.

Missing those valuable hours of sleep can prove to be harmful. Time management is key so that homework is not being done at one in the morning. A good night's rest can help a lot the next day when you need to focus on that major English essay or participate in an important discussion.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/11684