The Importance of Sleep


Most teens don’t get enough sleep each night.  The recommended amount of sleep is 8 to 10 hours every night.  When you get enough sleep it can help improve your performance the next day.  For example, if you are studying for a big test on Friday, and you get a full 8 to 10 hours of sleep the night before the test, it helps improve how you do. 

Getting enough sleep and a good night’s rest makes you stronger and healthier. It can help improve your brain function and productivity.  Getting enough sleep as a teen can help prevent health problems in the future such as depression, infection defense, further sleep difficulties, and problems with relationships.  

Research shows sleep is really important for a teen.  Sleep helps teens to continue to grow healthy.  For example, as a kid, when our parents would tell us to take naps, taking a nap when we were that younger helped our body to grow healthy.  Taking naps gave our bodies the rest it needed to grow and function properly.  So resting and sleeping when your body needs it is important.  

According to  Encourage afternoon naps. Tired teens may benefit from a 30- to 45-minute nap before dinner. This is a better fix for sleep deprivation in teens than sleeping-in, which throws off their body’s sleep cycle.

According to the Center for Disease Control sleeping when you’ve just got home from a long day at work, or school, or a sports game, after your body has been overworked all day is important.  The CDC says that depending on kids/teens age, there’s a recommended amount of sleep every night.  If kids are 6 to 12 years old they should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep every night.  If kids/teens are 13 to 18 years old they should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night.  The CDC also reports that in a survey from 2015 kids and teens from 6 years old to 18 years old reported sleeping less than 9 or 8 hours every night.  So the CDC reports that kids and teens were considered to not be getting enough sleep.  

Sleeping with Stress

Stress can affect sleep by giving people a common sleep disorder called Insomnia.  Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that affects a person’s ability to sleep.  Insomnia doesn’t just affect the person’s ability to sleep, it also affects them during the daytime too.  During the day, a person with insomnia can have feelings of fatigue and sleepiness; they can also be irritable and irritated easily.  Insomnia can either happen once a week or (if diagnosed with chronic insomnia) can happen at least three times a week.  However, according to The National Sleep Foundation, not everyone that sleeps with stress develops insomnia, even though insomnia is a common sleeping disorder.  But, people with anxiety disorder have a higher risk of developing insomnia or insomnia symptoms.  Insomnia can also make the person have more symptoms during the day such as, difficulty paying attention (hyperactivity is a side effect), poor memory, aggression, impulsiveness and other behavioral problems and decreased energy.  

Is Sleeping when Stressed Helpful?  Fortunately, getting enough sleep when you’re stressed can help get rid of stress quite effectively.  But, unfortunately, a good night’s rest can be very hard to achieve when you’re stressed out.  Although sleeping when you’re stressed out for some people is difficult, there are other ways to relieve stress.  These include exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  

How to Sleep with Stress:  The key to a good night’s sleep is managing your stress and stress levels.  As well as, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising throughout the week, and practicing meditation, other breathing and relaxation techniques to help ground yourself.  Grounding yourself can help to lift up your confidence so you can manage your stress better.  A healthy work-life, family life and social life is also really important so you can relieve stress at the right time and not drown in it at random times or other situations that don’t already cause you stress.  Having a strict sleep schedule can also help.  Improving the quality and duration of sleep can help make you feel more awake and refreshed in the morning, so you can better manage your stress during the day.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday can help because if you’re on a schedule it can help ground you and get you into a routine, so you’re not anxious and stressing over how things are going to happen the next day.  Also, sleeping in a nice comfortable environment can help you to calm down and get to sleep.  

Sleeping with Anxiety

According to the National Sleep Foundation, anxiety is a very common disorder.  There are different levels of anxiety that can either affect sleep a lot or not at all, such as insomnia.  Anxiety can disrupt sleep such as stress does.  Some things you can do to eliminate bad anxiety that may be keeping you from getting the sleep you need are, (much like with stress) it’s helpful to have a schedule to follow at night, to help keep you grounded and on track to get on top of things.  Also, keeping good healthy hygiene can help too.   Like having a sleep schedule, keeping a consistent schedule can help eliminate anxiety as well.  Being consistent with a schedule or everyday pattern can help you to feel confident to eliminate anxiety.  Also, like with stress, there are different relaxing techniques you can try to get rid of some anxiety to help you get to sleep.  Some techniques are deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and guided imagery, which are some things that can help your mind to ease at night when you’re trying to fall asleep instead of staying up worrying.  

Students Say

When polled, a small group of students at Oakmont Regional High School says they get between 4 and 6 hours of sleep a night.  One student commented that having anxiety makes it hard to fall asleep at night, that their brain is constantly thinking and worrying about things.  As well as sometimes they wake up in the middle of the night because their brain is thinking and worrying about the event of the next day or something that could’ve happened the day previous.  Some students say that they have a weird sleeping pattern, some may wake up a couple of times at night, or some may sleep fine one night then have a weird sleeping pattern the next night.