teenage sleep lossDespite sleep deprivation being a problem, people don’t recognize why teenagers feel quite sleepy often and how to fix it. Easiest blame-targets are mobile phones and computers along with homework and extra-curricular activities.

High tech gadgets, technology and schoolwork do have their place in sleep deprivation, these reasons aren’t the entire problem among teens and always being “just tired.” Most people don’t understand that if teens don’t start trying to alter their sleep habits, long-lasting damage, such as difficulties with weight, mood and grades, could occur.

There’s actually a biological link to the sleep-late, rise-late pattern of teenagers. Like most things, it all goes back to puberty.Chemicals are consistently changing during this time, which cause habits and behavior that other developmental stages don’t have.

Humans have a chemical called melatonin that’s released when the sun goes down that makes a body ready for bed. But once again, since their chemicals are off, teens don’t get drowsy until far after dark. This can also be linked to the trouble teens have waking up in the morning. Basically, the later you fall asleep, the later you wake up. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need the most amount of sleep, at more than nine hours, because of the constant changes in their lives.However, it’s the teens getting the least amount of sleep.

A lot of things happen in the brain while it’s asleep, like storing memories and controlling hormones. Without sleep, high schoolers’ IQ points drop since knowledge hasn’t been permanently stored. Emotional problems arise when hormones are off balance in the brain, causing things as serious as depression.

According to Dr. Rachel Salas of John Hopkins Medicine, he discovered that the body’s appetite increases when tired in order to maintain energy. Scientists have come to associate sleep loss to some of the causes of obesity.

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Filed under: AnxietyObesityOther DisordersSleepSleep ApneaSleep Apnea in ChildrenSleep DeprivationSleep DisordersSleep ProblemsStress

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