A Pivotal Time - Sleep for Teens.


Sleep is pivotal to ensuring teenagers emotional and physical well-being.

More than half of all teenagers in Canada aren’t getting the recommended guidelines for sleep, which is leading to mass chronic sleep deprivation in many teens. A healthy sleep schedule is vital to promoting healthy emotional and physical wellbeing.



How Sleep Influences Emotional Wellbeing:

Emotional well-being refers to the ability to produce positive emotions, thoughts and feelings. Teenagers need emotional well-being in order to be resilient and adapt when facing stressful situations and adversity.


A healthy sleep schedule prioritizes strong emotional well-being in teenagers. However, a lack of sleep can result in academic struggles and increased risky behaviours. Correct levels of sleep help teenagers to combat mental fog, pay attention and retain academic material. Teenagers who don’t get the correct levels of sleep suffer immense mental fog and difficulties.


Teenagers need at least eight hours of sleep a night. When sleep drops to less than six hours per night, research highlights that teens are twice as likely to engage in risky behaviors. Including reckless driving, risky sexual behavior, marijuana, alcohol and tobacco use, these behaviors can really impact on their quality of life.


A healthy sleep schedule ensures teenagers receive the critical amount amount of sleep needed to help in their physical and emotional development. The teenage years are marred with a range of physical, social and developmental changes. Teenagers need enough sleep in order to healthily move through these changes.



Common Barriers to a Healthy Sleep Schedule for Teenagers:


Common barriers for a healthy sleep schedule include extensive media usage prior to bed, constantly shifting schedules and using too many stimulants like caffeine.


Teenagers often use social media and televisions right before bed, which can result in the brain struggling to shut down for a period of time after they try to go to bed. To combat this, teenagers should try to turn off all screens and wind down at least thirty minutes prior to going to sleep.


Teenagers are also more likely to change their sleep and wake times for the weekend. They often stick to stricter sleep schedules during the week and allow themselves to stay up late on the weekend. This causes disruptions in the sleep cycle, and can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. To combat this, teenagers should try and enforce a regular sleep schedule that doesn’t change on the weekends.


Teenagers may also rely on stimulants like caffeine and sugar to help them get through the day when they are tired. In high amounts, these stimulants can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep. Teenagers should endeavour to cut down on these stimulants and limit their intake to the mornings in order to enjoy a better quality of sleep.


Final Thoughts:

Sleep is vitally important for ensuring teenage emotional and physical well-being. By enforcing a proper healthy sleep schedule, teenagers will benefit from improved physical and emotional well-being.