H E A L T H:
Are You Tired?
According to sleep researchers, the average adult doesn't get enough sleep. Young people are the most sleep-deprived group of all.
Teens need about nine and a half hours of sleep a night.
Most teens get about 7 hours.
Why Do You Need To Sleep?
Nobody knows exactly what sleep does for the body. But we do know that everyone needs it. People once thought of sleep as quiet, down time for the body and the brain. But actually a lot of stuff goes on while we sleep - mysterious major chemical and electrical activity!
What happens when you're sleep-deprived?
Getting the right amount of sleep is important to your health. Not only does sleep deprivation make you... sleepy. It also causes:
Sleep loss builds up. If you go without the sleep that you need for too long you can weaken the body's ability to fight disease and repair injuries.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Everyone has their own sleep needs. Some people function well on just a few hours a night. Others need up to 12 hours to feel human. Babies and little kids and young children sleep a lot and one of the reasons is that growth occurs during sleep. Teens grow like crazy (especially between 13-16) that's one of the reasons sleep is so important.
Early Birds vs. Night Owls.
Everyone has a personal circadian rhythm. (Bet, you didn't know you had one of those!) It comes from the Latin words "circa" and "dies" and means "approximately one day." Throughout each 24 hour cycle, this internal clock controls our changing body temperatures, hormone production, hunger, alertness, sleepiness, and lots of other physical, mental, and emotional things.
When your body clock is out of tune you feel:
Sleep and Emotions.
Why Is All This Happening?
One of the biggest inner clock time bombs for teens is SLEEP.
When you're a kid you go to bed early and get up early, no problems. But when you become a teen, the clock shifts, making you want to go to sleep later and get up later.
What Should You Do?
Teens need more sleep, not less. Early classes, late night studying, weekend social life, and the novelty of staying up late start to have a negative affect on teens.
What can you do to make things easier?
During the week give your body a break. Get the sleep you need!
On the weekends and holidays...
Stay up later (if you want) and sleep in the next morning.
Exercise plays a part in keeping your body clocks ticking in sync with your own personal rhythms. Regular aerobic exercise helps you sleep better and wake up refreshed.
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last updated November 19, 2005
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