Teen sleeping habits have a big impact on physical and mental health. Sleep-deprived teens have a higher risk for skin problems, irritability, weight gain and memory loss. Too little sleep affects their mood. It can cause sadness or even depression.
Oversleeping can also be unhealthy. It can leave a teenager feeling tired.
Healthy Teen Sleeping Habits
The average teenager actually needs more sleep than the average 10-year-old. Your child should be getting about 10 hours per night.
The brains of teenagers undergo rapid development. They also must deal with the physiological changes of puberty. During these years, sleep, nutrition and exercise are critical to their well-being.
Some consequences of insufficient sleep may include poor concentration, anxiety, depression and daytime drowsiness. Teens also experience distracted driving and problems in school.
Changes during teen years also affect individual circadian rhythms. This means teens no longer fall asleep or wake up at the times they used to. Even though they may not be able to fall asleep until 11 p.m., they still have to get up at 6 a.m. for school. This robs them of three hours of the sleep they need.
It can be hard to resolve sleep deficits. When the above symptoms of sleep deprivation appear, it could be time to seek teen depression treatment.
Unhealthy Teen Sleeping Habits
Oversleeping teens may have depression. A child who sleeps into the afternoon on weekends may be hiding from daily angst. Unhealthy sleeping routines like oversleeping do not always confirm depression, but the two are often linked.
Unhealthy sleep patterns set off physical and psychological problems. Teen depression has its own set of symptoms. In such cases, many parents find themselves over their heads. Sometimes, it takes professional help for positive change.
Effective residential programs for teen treatment should be comprehensive. Look for services like individual therapy, counseling support for emotional growth, coaching in life skills, academic support, experiential learning and group and individual physical exercise.
Outdoor Activities Produce Restful Sleep
Getting outdoors and being active helps teens sleep at night. Oversleeping is a common symptom of depression, and exercise can help. Physically, the endorphins the brain releases during exercise build up a sense of well-being. Taking part in outdoor activities takes focus and motivation. A sense of accomplishment after exercise helps elevate mood. Over the longer term, a sustained exercise routine heightens the release of growth factors in your teen’s body. This stimulates nerve growth. Increased brain activity improves your child’s mood.
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that regulates moods. The creation of new nerve cells in the hippocampus can help your teen battle depression. Also, how teens feel about themselves is critical to their state of mind. A lack of self-esteem may perpetuate negative feelings and anxiety about fitting in. When low self-esteem and depression combine, your teen is in trouble. Being able to get outdoors provides relief. A break from the crushing weight of depression is critical to teen depression treatment. It also fosters normal sleep patterns and aids recovery.
If you seek a therapeutic program for your child, make sure it includes time outdoors. Ideally, hiking, cycling and other sports should be on the menu.
What You Can Do at Home to Help
Share some time-tested strategies for getting enough sleep with your teen. Try setting a regular bedtime for your child. Ten o’clock at night is likely to best fit a teen’s inner sleep clock.
On weekends, encourage your child to get up at the same time as on school days. A regular schedule is better overall than allowing your child to sleep late.
In addition, banning electronics an hour before bedtime helps teenage brains wind down toward a resting mode. A hot, relaxing bath and a cup of chamomile tea are bound to help them fall asleep at bedtime and drift into sweet dreams.
Venture Academy Is Here to Help
If your teen needs help with sleep, anxiety, and/or depression, get in touch with us at Venture Academy at 855.281.5813. We offer comprehensive programs for struggling teens. We serve all of Canada with locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Reach out to us today.