A lack of sleep might leed to mental problems in teenagers

Sleep is extremely important for both physical and mental health. A new study shows that sleep deprivation among teens can lead to mood disorders such as depression, anger attacks and energy shortages.


The effect of mood disorders


Research has helped us understand that mental illness often begins in adolescence, with nearly 22 percent of all teens suffering from some form of mood disorder. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with mental illness often prevents teens from seeking help with their emotional disorders. For the same reasons, parents are reluctant to get help for their teenage children unless a condition becomes particularly pronounced.

While there are many different mood disorders that affect teens, the most common are depression, uncontrolled anger, eating disorders, ADHD, and oppositional defiant disorder. In general, the following changes in a teen’s lifestyle or behavior indicate the onset of some type of emotional health disorder:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • No appetite
  • No motivation
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

Sleep deprivation increases the risk of mental problems


A recent Australian study of how sleep affects teens confirmed that sleep deprivation adversely affected teens’ mental health. In the study, teens ages 15 to 17 were divided into three groups. One group was allowed to sleep for a maximum of five hours, while a second group was allowed to sleep 7.5 hours. The third group slept 10 hours every night. Each day upon awakening, the teens’ moods were assessed by a research team.

Each teen’s mood was measured using a scaled system that allowed each subject to rate their feelings of fear, anger, confusion, fear, happiness and energy. The teens who were limited to five hours of sleep most often described their emotional state as depressed, confused, or angry. This group also reported feeling less happy or energetic.

The group who were able to sleep for 10 hours each night reported feeling happy most of the time. None of the subjects in any group reported a change in feelings of fear or anxiety during testing. In addition, the group who got 7.5 hours of sleep each night showed no noticeable changes in their mood.

The researchers involved in the project noted that recent statistics confirm that emotional health problems, including mood disorders, are more common in teens who don’t get enough sleep. The researchers believe that getting more sleep is effective in helping teens lower their risk of mental illness. Suffering from sleep deprivation for an extended period of time can also increase the risk of a long-term mental health problem in teens. Just getting your teen to sleep more can be enough to correct emerging emotional health problems before they become serious.


Sleeping tips for teenagers


Know when to turn off screens

We get it, social media and all that, but your screens suppress the production of melatonin in the body. This hormone lets the body know it’s time to go to sleep. How can you easily manage this? A charging station for all electronic devices in the living room is a good, easy example.


Moderate caffeine consumption

Stopping by Starbucks in the evening is not such a good idea if you still want to get a good night’s sleep. So limit the intake of caffeine to preferably the morning, otherwise until the afternoon.

Why? It takes 6 hours for caffeine to leave the body. Therefore, there is a very high possibility that the caffeine is still in your body when you want to go to sleep. This can have adverse effects.


Check your bedroom

The environment in which you sleep affects how easily and well you sleep.

You need to make sure your teen’s bedroom is as comfortable as possible for them. Check that their mattress is firm and comfortable. You should also make sure that the sheets, comforters, blankets, and pillows are all soft and cool.

The bedroom temperature should also be kept on the cooler side. Usually about 18 degrees is ideal to promote a good night’s sleep. Finally, make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet to help your teen fall asleep quickly and sleep through the night.


Source: www.chronobiology.com

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