Are you one of those who invariably fall asleep either in the history or the maths period? Your parents must be thinking that you have no interest in those subjects whatsoever. Little do they realize the psychological reason behind it.
You aren’t the only victim of this queer phenomenon and it is not due to your lack of interest in any of the mentioned subjects but a totally different reason; the reason being, “lack of sleep”. One may argue about their parents getting less sleep than us, yet remaining completely focused on their work. Want to know why do teens more sleep? Read on to find out.
In order to get into a more detailed insight of why teens need more sleep, let us first see why people actually feel sleepy/need sleep.
The need for sleep can be can be classified into two factors.
- The first factor is the “Sleep-wake balance”. It may be termed as the ratio of the amount of time you’re asleep to the amount of time you’ve been awake since your last sleep. It is extremely important to keep the balance right, because once it goes off, you might just feel the side effects of it, like less concentration, and rapid energy loss from anything you do, which might be a regular everyday task. When you lose too much energy this way, you tend to fall asleep faster.
- The second and the important factor is the “Circadian Rhythms”. There is an internal body clock which automatically adjusts itself, observing the span of time when you sleep and the rest of the time when you stay awake.
- For example, if you have been going to sleep at 10pm everyday and waking up at 6am, your body will set its timer for sleep automatically within that span, and you will start to feel sleepy right after 10. Anything which will damage this stipulated span of sleep, might be the reason for your sleepiness at any point of the day.
So, why do teens need more sleep?
The Circadian Rhythms get disturbed once in your lifetime, thanks to puberty. Puberty changes everything in a person, which includes everything related to the timing and the need for sleep. Usually, teens need about 8-10 hours of sleep every day. Even if you get an adequate amount of sleep at night, you still might feel dizzy at any point of the day. Here’s why.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is a phenomenon that occurs when the tissue at the back of your throat collapses while you’re asleep. Teens, who are overweight, have high chances of OSA. When you’re in deep sleep, the muscles of your throat relaxes. Thanks to gravity, your tongue faces no restriction in falling back, cutting the air supply reaching your lungs. As a result, you start feeling breathless and it might wake you up. And when you wake up from sleep, it damages your entire sleep for the night and you start to feel sleepy again, when you wake up.
- Narcolepsy: There is no logic as to why this happens, but Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder affecting teens, particularly between ages 15-20. They might feel the severe need for sleep at any point of time in the day, be it while eating, driving or anything that requires your body to be static for a brief period of time.
- Emotional problems: When teens reach puberty, they become capable of reproducing sexually. With all these maturity, the hormones responsible for all emotions, develop. These emotions are hugely responsible for all the mood swings, which can disrupt sleep. Many cases have also been reported of depression, one of the most dangerous symptoms of emotional distress. These deal massive blows to the sleep pattern, and also make teens lose sleep completely.
- Chronic ailments/Medical Conditions: Conditions such as “Epilepsy” and “Asthma” can cause disrupted sleep mainly because of its way of attacking the immunity system. Medications can also prevent teens from getting adequate amount of sleep.
Here’s how you can tackle the situation and get better sleep.
- Parents should make sure that the atmosphere is calm at home when it is bedtime for your children.
- Teens often have extremely busy and hectic schedule before they retire to their beds. It is important for the teens to ease out and relax before they go to bed.
- Caffeine is one thing that deprives everyone of sleep. You should never have it after 4pm, to get adequate sleep at night.
- Teens should follow a strict diet regimen and exercise is a must. Smoking and drinking should be completely prohibited.
- Lights should be dim in the evening and bright in the morning. This regulates the Circadian Rhythms in the body properly.
If you can follow all the mentioned remedies correctly, sleep deficiency will not haunt you anymore and you can listen to your history or math lectures without any hindrance.