Sleep problems in teenagers: Causes and myths

Sleep problems in teenagers

Sleep problems for teenagers may potentially affect their day-to-day activities and their health. During sleep, the body releases a growth hormone that is important for physical growth in children and teens. Teenagers should get 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night for their physical growth to be unaffected.

What causes teenagers to lose sleep?

Youths generally cite the following reasons for their sleep problems:
• Worrying over unfinished business (school work, tests, exams)
• Playing video games late at night
• Online chats with friends
• Difficulty falling asleep (insomnia)
• Watching late-night television
• Stress

Myths about sleep

Some myths youths have about sleep include:
• Loss of sleep can be compensated - sleep debt cannot be compensated
• Drinking alcohol can make you sleep better - drinking alcohol at night may make you drowsy, making it easier for you to sleep but it will reduce deep sleep and cause frequent awakening at night
• Exercising can overcome sleep problems - this depends on what time you exercise as late-night exercising will not help with falling asleep

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