Why do teens need more sleep and how can we help them get it? | OVERVIEW

Study: Adolescents who slept 8 to 9 hours were less likely to have mental health problems, including mood swings, inferiority complexes, anxiety, and depression.

A recent mental health advisory report released by the United States Department of Public Health showed that feelings of stress, despair, and suicidal ideation have increased significantly in adolescents in recent years and deepened during the pandemic.

Experts believe that one of the most important ways to reduce psychological burden and increase mental health and emotional resilience for this age group is to get enough sleep.

In an article published by the American newspaper “washingtonpost”, writer Lisa Lewis quotes Lisa Meltzer, a child psychologist at the National Jewish Health Hospital in Denver, that “sleep can be a protective factor for children and adolescents trying to adjust to life. . again. ” In the wake of the isolation imposed by the epidemic. “

When you do not sleep well

“When you do not sleep well, emotional balance is one of the first things you lose,” says Meltzer. “Lack of sleep or sleep planning can lead to poor mental health.”

According to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. But according to the results of the latest survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on behaviors dangerous to the health of young people, less than a quarter of high school students are doing the minimum recommended amount of sleep.

According to one study, teens who slept 8 to 9 hours were less likely to have mental health problems, including mood swings, inferiority complexes, anxiety and depression.

Less than a quarter of high school students in America get the recommended minimum amount of sleep (Shutterstock)

Indicators of sleep and happiness

Researcher Tim Bono, a lecturer in psychological and brain sciences at the University of Washington in St. Louis. best indicators of psychological happiness and comfort.the subject of the semester.

The study found that students who sleep at irregular times are almost twice as happy as normal, and Bono states that “it is clear that best sleep-related practices significantly affect students’ psychological health.”

emotional protection

Other studies show that getting enough sleep is a kind of “emotional shield” that helps teens cope with everyday stress.

Researcher Tiffany Yip, chair of the Department of Psychology at Fordham University, co-authored a study on the effect of sleep on adolescents’ ability to cope with stress-related stress and found that a good night’s sleep helps teens cope better with stress. factors.

Adolescents who had a good night’s sleep the night before were better able to adopt better coping strategies, such as getting support and not chewing. “When teens sleep well, they are better able to cope with the stress of the next day,” says Tiffany.

The study also showed that sleeping after a stressful day offers an opportunity to restore emotional balance, which helps the teenager recover and reduce the negative psychological consequences the next morning.

Somnambulist rising from the bed near the green wall indoors, multiple exposure.  Sleepwalking Sleepwalking Dreams - Source: GettyImages-1321448812
Lack of sleep negatively affects mood and emotional stability, and mental health problems in turn affect the quality of sleep (Getty Images)

The relationship between sleep and mental health

Meltzer describes the relationship between sleep and mental health as intertwined on a very complex scale and points out that lack of sleep can negatively affect mood and emotional stability, and that mental health problems in turn affect sleep quality.

“We know by diagnosing various mental health problems – particularly anxiety and depression – that sleep can be a symptom and a negative consequence of the disorder,” explains Meltzer. “If we can improve sleep, then some of the symptoms of mental health problems will but the solution to the sleep problem will not work.” necessarily treat depression or anxiety “and recommends that sleep problems and mental health problems be treated simultaneously.

Meltzer emphasizes the importance of healthy sleeping habits, which are “First: a fixed sleep schedule, second: bright light in the morning, third: lying in bed only when you sleep.”

Healthy sleeping habits are important, the most important of which is lying in bed only when you sleep (Shutterstock)

Tips for teens to sleep well

Here are other tips for teens to get a good night’s sleep:

Moderate caffeine intake: Caffeine is an effective way to refresh the body, but consuming it in the afternoon or evening affects the quality of sleep.

nap: Adolescents who sleep too late or too long may end up with a poor sleep cycle.

Physical activity: Moderate physical activity – such as walking, running or playing basketball – can help you sleep better, but consider the time, as exercising late at night can delay sleep time.

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