In our society, people just expect teenagers to be extremely tired all the time, but many don’t ask why. Sleep deprivation in teens has become an epidemic in the United States. According to the CDC, about 70 percent of teens are sleep deprived. It’s hard to believe that seven in 10 teenagers you meet are running on less than eight hours of sleep.
What’s causing sleep deprivation in teens?
Honestly, a multitude of things. Multiple studies have been conducted attempting to narrow down the direct causes of sleep deprivation in teens. Sleep has been proven to be something that humans desperately need in order to survive, work their best, and function properly. Not catching enough Zs can limit your ability to concentrate, think, and learn. In the worst cases of sleep deprivation, death can be the outcome.
From the National Sleep Foundation, a few reasons for sleep deprivation in teens include:
- Biology: During adolescence, sleep patterns shift making it very unnatural for a teenager to be able to fall asleep before 11 pm.
- Light exposure: Teenagers and their phones are often inseparable. The light a phone emits makes teens’ bodies think it’s still daytime, making it harder for them to fall asleep.
- Society’s attitude: Western culture tends to look at sleep as wasted time that could be used being active or working, this is untrue because sleep is required to keep the body functioning.
- Sleep disorder: If your child suffers from sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, it can definitely affect how much sleep they’re getting if not dealt with properly.
Treating sleep deprivation
If your son or daughter is continuously struggling with getting enough sleep, it could be time to seek out treatment. Not getting enough sleep can cause poor academic performance and cognitive functioning, making it imperative to help. Sometimes teenagers need a deeper, more comprehensive intervention than traditional therapy can provide. Here’s where Trails Carolina can help.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that helps individuals struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety or sleep deprivation in teens. Our program creates an environment where teenagers can find their own path to positive personal growth.