The Importance of Sleep for Teenagers

July 18, 2015

The Importance of Sleep for Teenagers

How important is sleep for teenagers?

In Short - How many hours sleep should your child be getting and why is it so important?

Why does sleep matter for teenage students?

Scientific evidence shows that the right amount of night-time sleep is just as important for children’s overall development as healthy eating and regular exercise. Sleep plays a significant role in brain and physical development, and it is therefore important for children to get enough sleep as their bodies grow and mature. As well as the role it plays in brain development, sleep also plays an important role in our brain’s day-to-day ability to function. Lack of sleep makes it much harder for us to concentrate, and we become forgetful, irritable and prone to being clumsy and making mistakes.

How much sleep does my secondary school child need?

Towards the end of primary school and in early secondary school years, your son or daughter may start to stay up later in the evening, chatting to their friends online, playing games on a console or watching TV. They will find it difficult to get up in the morning and will be tired or irritable during the day if they don’t get enough sleep.

Limit your child’s use of the internet, games consoles and TV in the hour before they go to bed – and ideally don’t allow your son or daughter to have a computer, console or a TV set in their bedroom.

Between the ages of 11 and 18, your child will need 8.5-10 hours of sleep a night.

Sleep deprivation results in irritability, lack of concentration, and a general feeling of malaise. It can be difficult to encourage older children to keep to a regular bedtime, but it’s important to try. Experts have linked a lack of sleep to problems with behaviour, concentration and achievement at school. A lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain too, because it inhibits the production of appetite-controlling hormones.

Older children often don’t realise they’re cutting back on their sleep. Talk to your child - if they are finding it difficult to get up in the morning, suggest earlier nights and more physical exercise to help their sleep pattern.

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