Teens are sacrificing sleep for being involved in multiple activities

REM sleep deprivation directly relates to emotional regulation, learning, memory, social relationships, and self-esteem, experts say

Teens are sacrificing sleep for being involved in multiple activities
Teens are sacrificing sleep for being involved in multiple activities

From early morning homeroom to late-night sports and social activities, high schoolers have hectic schedules. But if your teen is sacrificing sleep, they may also be sacrificing their health.

Experts say REM sleep deprivation directly relates to emotional regulation, learning, memory, social relationships, and self-esteem. This can not only impact school performance but also take a large toll on physical health.

“It affects our learning, our memory, consolidating that information that we get in every single day. It’s our time to grow. How important is that part?” said certified sleep consultant Leandre Schoeman.

According to the CDC, 73% of U.S. high schoolers are sleep deprived.

“They struggle with feeling lonely, added stress, tension, anxiety, the list goes on,” Schoeman said.

From hectic schedules to puberty, and social demands, many teens are acquiring a sleep debt. Chronic lack of sleep at such a formative age sets teens up for high risk of physical and mental health problems

“And it starts to weigh heavier, and heavier, and heavier the longer we go on,” Schoeman said.

To catch more z’s, focus on creating a dark, cool environment. Experts say the best temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

No binging after 8 p.m., set a regular bedtime, and most importantly, limit screens in the bedroom. Schoeman said the key to everything, “Would be doing that over, and over, and over.”

The CDC said teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. If they get less than that on a regular basis, it could impact their ability to concentrate and could lead to poor grades, drowsy driving, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide.