Nowadays, teenagers find it difficult to get enough rest due to their increased responsibilities at home, work, or school. Other reasons could be hectic routines, poor time management, or the stress of handling stable social relationships. At adolescence, youths experience significant physical, emotional, and intellectual maturation. And the right amount of sleep helps to power these vital processes.
Sleep allows our bodies to release hormones that help repair cells, control the energy use of our body, and is essential for cardiovascular health. Although many youths would agree that getting enough sleep is critical in their general development, a majority of teenagers still don’t get enough sleep.
Research shows that as little as 15 percent of youths get the required amount of sleep they need, while an outstanding 75 percent are deprived themselves of quality rest.
According to scientific research, humans need an average of 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day. While your sleep-unfriendly schedule may not allow you to get this much, it’s crucial to get as much sleep as you can.
Signs that you do not get enough rest
If you always feel like having one more minute of sleep whenever you wake up in the morning, you probably not getting enough sleep. Sleeping well is meant to make you feel refreshed rather than tired when you wake up the next day.
Having trouble concentrating and remembering things throughout the day is also a sign of sleep deprivation. As a youth in school, falling asleep during classes is also a sign. If you continuously feel moody or even depressed, that’s a sign that you may not be getting enough sleep as well.
There are many reasons why you may be lacking sleep, you probably have a busy schedule, but you still find time to relax and spend time with friends, or the night time is the only time you have to unwind. All these are usually at the expense of your sleep time.
Five reasons young adults need more sleep
Although the idea of getting enough sleep may not seem that big a deal for you, it is essential for your brain and body. Youths need more rest because they are at a stage of rapid development, and being short on sleep puts youths at risk of experiencing intellectual, social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Here are five ways sleep deprivation affects this developmental process.
1. Decision making
It may be challenging to make the right decision when you’re not in the right frame of mind. With not much time management experience, a young adult is likely to have congested schedules of relevant and irrelevant tasks to take care of. Not getting enough rest after a whole day of being active can leave you stressed out and thinking about a lot of things.
If you didn’t get enough sleep at night, you might likely fall asleep during a lecture the next day. Depriving yourself of sleep can leave you struggling with school; it could affect your ability to learn by making it difficult to concentrate and or effectively recall things.
Many youths in school struggle academically with low grades, frequent absence from classes, and incapability to solve academic problems due to sleep deprivation. Quality sleep at give your brain time to relax and keeps you refreshed for the next day’s tasks
Feeling sleepy at the wrong place and time isn’t safe. It could affect the time you take to react to things. Sleepiness could get one involved in car crashes and other accidents.
It could also make you forget something, creating potential danger by not correctly completing tasks. You may forget simple things like closing a gas cylinder, turning of an electrical switch, or closing a door or window.
4. Mental health
Lack of quality sleep could also contribute to the feeling of depression, constant anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. When you overtask yourself without getting any rest, you may feel fatigued, easily irritated, and your mood becomes impaired.
This could cause you to have a more negative attitude and outlook towards tasks and also make you unable to control your emotions, which could affect your relationships.
5. Behavioral and social issues
Negative behavioral changes could also be linked with a lack of quality sleep. Youths who don’t get enough sleep have a greater tendency to engage in smoking, drinking, as well as drugs and substance misuse. They may also be hyperactive, aggressive, socially withdrawn, and more prone to violence
Tips for getting quality sleep
1. Create a bedtime routine
Plan out a relaxing bedtime routine; taking a light snack before bed could help you sleep well. Instead of feeding on a heavy meal at night, opt for a glass of milk or juice. Go to bed at about the same time every night. Make sure your room cold, quiet, and dark, also make sure to turn on the lights or open the curtains immediately you wake up the next morning.
2. Use your bed for sleep only
While in bed, avoid working on your laptop, doing homework, using your smartphone or tablet, or playing video games. Only use your bed for sleep and nothing more. To make the best use of your sleep time, stay in bed with the lights out for at least 8 hours every night.
3. Mid-day napping
Midday naps could also make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If you must nap, make sure to keep it short at least 30 to 45 minutes. Also, avoid napping immediately after dinner
Avoid arduous exercise in the evenings. If you must get exercise every day, make sure to schedule it at least within 4 hours before bedtime, or shift your workout schedule to mornings if possible.
Exercising raises the body temperature and could keep you awake and active, thereby interfering with your ability to wind down for sleep. Vigorous night activities could result in bedtime being pushed back and leave you tired the next day.
5. Avoid caffeine
If you have to work after mid-afternoon, you want to avoid the use of coffee, tea, pop, or energy drinks to keep yourself active and awake. Furthermore, you also want to avoid the use of any products such as alcohol, herbal products, or un-prescribed sleep aids, to help you sleep at night.
6. Limit screen time before bed
Keeping late night on social media could also affect how much sleep you get and how well you sleep. Making use of electronic media and excessive exposure to screen light before bed can also make it harder to fall asleep.
7. Avoid being worried before bedtime
If you had a hectic day and the next is likely to be the same, try not to do too much. You want to remove unnecessary tasks from your schedule and make sure you clear your mind before bed.
If you find sleeping difficult because you have too much on your mind, you may also want to keep a diary or to-do lists. If you write down your tasks before sleep, it can make you feel less worried or stressed.
8. Keep bedrooms cool
Lastly, you want to keep a cold bedroom in addition to being dark and tech-free. A cool bedroom can help you fall asleep quickly. By dusk, our bodies experience a significant temperature change, as it drops to prepare us for sleep.
A cool bedroom helps to enhance that internal temperature drop, making you fall asleep more easily. Taking a warm bath or shower an hour before bedtime can also help.