The recent studies help scientists to better understand the importance of sleep during childhood and adolescence years. The deprivation of sleep in modern society is having a catastrophic impact on health, wellness, even the safety and education of teens and children.
When we sleep, brain does an important job. It registers memories and knowledge created during the day, finds connections with the old memories and experiences. For young kids, brain’s good quality sleep is essential to save the daily learned information at the school. Sleep is the most important factor for the good health and academic performance of the teenagers.
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are very common in teenage years due to:
The harmful effects of sleep disturbance are stronger in adolescencebecause their brain is still developing. Sleep deprived teens show serious health, behavioral and social problems. Deprived sleep and insomnia can cause daytime drowsiness, irritability, poor judgement and memory problems, which all lead to poor academic performance of the teens. Some of these consequences last in their life time.
Sleep problems impact the memory registration therefore creates more forgetful teens who can’t learn new things. It also effects immune system, make teenagers more vulnerable to different diseases.
One clinical study from UK showed sleep problems in teen years are a risk factor for anti-social and criminal activities in adulthood. Other studies also have shown that sleep deprivation limits function of the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain helps regulate attention levels, empathy, as well as control impulsive and emotional behavior.
The parents, educators are need to be alarmed when the teens show sign of insomnia. They should search for safe ways to help teens get more sleep to improve their mental and physical health, academic and social performance.
Recent studies show if teens are left to follow their naturally preferred sleep pattern, they become much more productive. Pushing teens too far out of their natural clock can lead to more serious sleep disorders. That can have many negative physiological consequences, even their sensitivity to insulin and glucose changes, which can cause weight gain.
Changing the school routine to late mornings for night owls shows significant improvement on teen’s health and wellness. Recently some high schools are starting later hours of the day for better life and performance of the sleep deprived teens.
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