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This is a really good video which talks about teenagers and sleep. Has some really good sleep-wake cycle tips for people of all ages.

Facts about teenage sleep:

  • Teenagers require more sleep than adults. This is because Human Growth Hormone is released – very important for development.
  • The teenage body clock is naturally delayed 2 hrs. This is due to a delayed release of Melatonin – our bodies regulator of the body clock.
  • 10PM Biologically feels like 8PM.
  • Technology (computers, phones, IPADs etc.) added to this delayed melatonin release means kids are staying up later and later lessening the amount of time they actually get to sleep.
  • Kids are also less active during the day which lowers their demand for sleep. The lessening demand for sleep means they are getting less sleep which means less time for growth and development.
  • Short term effects include moodiness and impared cognitive function.
  • Longer term issues include metabolic disorders, diabetes, obesity and depression.

HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

  • Exposure to Technology and other stimulus needs to be limited late at night. As the day darken and gets colder our bodies are naturally programmed to start to want to sleep due to release of melatonin. Stimulus and exposure to technology delays this release further and further meaning we are going to bed later, decreasing the amount of time we can actually sleep.
  • Teenagers need to be more active during the day. We are programmed to be active during the day. When we are active we are burning energy and increasing our demand for sleep when night time comes. The more active we are the more our bodies demand sleep. When we are getting more sleep it allows growth and development to take place.