Sleep Myth About Teenagers: Debunked

Healthy Sleep, Sleep Myths

Sleep Myth: Teenagers are Lazy and Love Lying in Bed

A lot of people view sleep as “down time” where the body can rest and rejuvenate after a long day. Sleep is important in maintaining the quality of your life, your mental and your physical health. Unfortunately, sleep is a subject where many people mistakenly believe they know a lot about.

Various stories, theories, and myths surround sleep. People believe these myths and use them as the basis for their sleeping habits. One popular myth, in particular, is that teenagers are lazy and they love lying in bed.

Do you believe that teens are just plain lazy? Let’s find out.

The Myth

Do you have a teenager in your family? If yes, there is a good chance that you have witnessed their struggle to leave the comforts of their bed. A common perception is that all teenagers are unmotivated, lazy, and moody when it comes to waking up and getting out of bed in the morning.

The Fact

Research shows that there are real biological factors to explain the behavior of teenagers. There is scientific evidence that there’s a delay in a teen’s natural sleep rhythm due to hormonal changes which occur during puberty.

A self-report study conducted at Harvard School of Public Health of almost 54,000 people found that ideal sleeping and rising times for teenagers was 1 1/2 hours later than for adults. A teenager’s natural tendency is to go to bed at a later time and get up later too. Teenagers also need to sleep at least eight to ten hours every night, compared with seven to nine hours for adults. Sleep is important for adolescents because while they are sleeping, they release hormones that are essential for growth. However, most of them are getting less than what they need.

In addition, there’s a difference in the schedule of melatonin production between adults and teens. Adults start to produce melatonin at about 10 PM while teenagers only begin to produce them at 1 AM. The delay in the production of melatonin may be one of the reasons for this late night behavior in adolescents.

Verdict

It is true that teenagers love staying up late and lying in bed in the morning. However, there is a reason behind it. Because of hormonal changes and delayed body clock, they go to bed late and wake up late. However, most teenagers are sleep deprived. Their lack of shuteye causes them to be impulsive, moody, and depressed at times. If you have a teenager at home, if at all possible let them stay in bed. The extra time in bed will be good for them.

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