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Teens and Sleep, courtesy of our Campolindo Parent Ed Partners:
“Sleep isn’t a luxury. Memory and learning are thought to be consolidated during sleep, so it’s a requirement for adolescents and as vital to their health as the air they breathe and the food they eat. In fact, sleep helps teens eat better. It also allows them to manage stress.”
Frances E. Jensen, MD, Author of The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

Sleep is vital for people of any age. For teens, though, profound mental, physical, social, and emotional development requires quality sleep.”  According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, teenagers require 9-9.5 hours of sleep per night or maybe even more. In 2015, the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found that each hour of lost sleep is associated with a 38% increased risk of feeling sad or hopeless and a 58% increase in suicide attempts.  Sleep deprivation causes some huge physiological effects when we don’t sleep enough:  increased inflammation, immune system is compromised, cognition is decreased and mood is changed.  Sleep actually allows the brain to be cleansed of toxins.  Sleep allows for memories (ie new material learned in math class) to be stored.  While you are sleeping, your pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps your body to healand grow.

Listen to this podcast on Sleep and The Teenage Brain here  or watch one of this Ted Talkon the Teen Sleep epidemic  or this Ted Talk by Valerie Crabtree on the importance of sleep.

Quick Tips for getting a better night sleep:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid electronics and digital screens for 1-2 hours prior to bedtime if possible or longer.  Many experts recommend banning tech from the bedroom.  Using tech at night not only cuts into teens’ sleep time, but it also exposes them to a type of light that suppresses the body’s production of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it tougher to fall asleep.
  • Avoid late afternoon or evening caffeine (Did you know that about 8 oz of chocolatecontains the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee?
  • Exercise daily, but no less than four hours prior to bed if possible.
  • Start each day in sunshine.  Having breakfast outside or by a sunny window or going for a brisk walk or jog in the morning can help regulate the body’s biological clock.
  •  Maybe try a calming meditation or one of these podcasts to help fall asleep

Coming up: Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 4pm Challenge Success, a non-profit organization that focuses on the well-being of the student, will be hosting a Healthier Approach to College Admissions talk, helping parents to support their students’ well-being during the college admission process and beyond. Registration link is here with a recording sent afterwards for those who cannot attend the live event. Cost is $10.

Finally, if your teen is struggling with academics or feeling down or frustrated about school, don’t forget to connect with our Counselors, our Nurse, and our Wellness Center.
Feel free to reach out and connect with us with ideas for future topics, shareable resources, or thoughts at