You can now text us! 205-927-2112

Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

Most teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep each night. But, many teenagers don’t get anywhere near that. Maybe your teen works hard and is up late doing homework. Maybe your teen has an after-school job that doesn’t let them off until late. Or maybe your teen just likes to stay up late browsing the web or engaging in hobbies. 

Whatever the reason, it’s important to educate your teen on the importance of getting good sleep. Gina Labovitz, MD, FAAP, at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics wants you to consider the following three questions to find out if your teen is getting enough sleep. If they’re not, read on to learn how you can encourage them to get more sleep. 

1. How are your teen’s grades at school? 

If your teenager used to have good grades, but their grades have suddenly slipped, they may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can lead to poor focus and concentration as well as decreased productivity and motivation. Your child may be too tired to complete their schoolwork or too tired to even muster the energy to start. 

2. What’s your teen’s typical mood like?

Teenagers are known for being moody. But moodiness isn’t automatically a teen thing. If your teenager seems to suddenly be irritable, angry, sad, or angsty, ask them about their sleep habits. Other mood-related signs to look out for include isolation, argumentativeness, and denial. 

If your teenager has always been sort of moody and you can’t tell if sleep deprivation has made things worse, see if your teen has stopped:

3. Does your teen usually stay out of trouble? 

Sleep deprivation is associated with poor decision-making. So if your teen has been making regrettable choices lately, consider that sleep deprivation might be a factor. Don’t just simply blame it on the fact that they’re a teenager.  

Encouraging your teen to get more sleep

Education is the most important thing when it comes to getting adequate sleep. If your teen doesn’t understand the importance of getting enough sleep, they may not care how much they get. Educate your teenager on the benefits of sleep and the consequences of sleep deprivation. 

Sleep can help your teen:

Not getting enough sleep can:

In some cases, you might need to take disciplinary action with your teenager. If your teen tends to stay up late with electronics, take away their electronics at night. Or, for a time, enforce a rule of no sleepovers ― at home or away ― on weeknights, and set a curfew.

On the flip side, offer rewards for sticking to a sleep schedule. Perhaps cook your teen’s favorite breakfast. Or schedule a fun family outing if your teen gets in bed at 9 p.m. for five consecutive days. 

If sleeplessness and symptoms, such as moodiness, depression, or isolation persist, consider seeing a doctor about your teen’s habits and moods. To learn more about sleep deprivation in teens, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Labovitz at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, which is a disease that was thought to have been nearly eradicated in the United States, has made a resurgence in the last 20 years. Read on to separate the myths from the facts about this disease.

My Child is Terrified of Shots

Trypanophobia — the fear of needles — can make even the bravest adults feel a pit in their stomach. Here’s how you can help your child overcome their fear and anxiety about shots.

How to Care for Your Child’s Croupy Cough

Croup — which is a viral condition that causes swelling in the region of the vocal cords — is typically all bark and no bite. Learn how to care for your child when they come down with this common infection.

What Are Rapid COVID-19 Tests?

It can take several days to get results for standard COVID-19 tests. Because of this, rapid COVID-19 tests have grown in popularity. Read on to learn more.

Three Types of ADHD

Do you think your child has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Read on to learn about the three types of ADHD, what to watch for, and when to bring your child to a doctor for testing.