According to new research, encouraging teens to get enough sleep is not only important so they can function properly, it can also help lower their risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure. This same research also shows that lack of sleep can contribute to excess body fat, which again isn’t good for the teen’s health overall. This research leads experts to look at the importance of sleep in a new way and recommend that teenagers get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
What does Lack of Sleep do to Teenagers?
The results of the study really shed light on just how important sleep is for teens. During the study, the risk factors of stroke, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, and the waist circumference (excess fat) were all examined. The longer a teen was able to stay asleep for, the lower their risks were of developing such issues.
While the fact that sleep is important to overall health is nothing new, the study was able to narrow in on specific illnesses and the risk factors involved for teens, which was new. The vast majority of studies conducted with these risk factors typically are done on adults, not teens.
Parents Can Encourage Healthy Sleep Habits
Parents are the ones in charge of their child’s sleep habits, setting a bedtime, and making sure a nightly routine is followed. As kids grow into teens, typically the reins are handed over to them and they are left in charge of their own bedtime and routine. Rather than handing over full control, parents can help guide them to ensure healthy routines are followed.
Part of the research showed that teens have a hard time staying asleep. It could be that a teenager is going to bed at a reasonable hour, they are being encouraged to do so, but they just can’t seem to stay asleep. There could be a few reasons this is happening, which can also mean a few minor adjustments are in order.
A good place to start when making adjustments is to look at the mattress. There’s a chance it may not be the ideal one for them. If that’s the case, see the reviews on Sleep Sherpa to get some ideas of what may work better.
It’s also important that teens don’t fill up on sugar filled sodas and juice, or caffeine before bed, as these drinks are sure to keep them awake. Falling asleep with the TV on can also cause them to wake up a few hours into the evening. Help teens to create a room that encourages sleeping by hanging blackout curtains, a fan to ensure air flow, and even a sound machine if that helps.
Finding a way to help teenagers to not only fall asleep but stay asleep is imperative to their health.