How Much Sleep Do Teens Need?

Teens need about nine hours of sleep every night, but when you’re sick or stressed, you need even more.

Why We Need Sleep

As a teenager, you already know how busy life can get. Between school, sports, hanging out with friends, and everything else, you might feel like sleeping is the last thing you need to do. While it’s OK to occasionally sleep less than the nine hours you need, constantly depriving yourself of sleep can have serious consequences.

Health benefits of sleep

Sleeping properly is an important part of staying healthy. During a good night’s sleep, your body processes toxins and releases important hormones. While you’re sleeping, your body:

  • Heals more quickly from injury and illness
  • Develops and grows at a faster rate
  • Regulates your appetite and metabolism
  • Repairs and enhances memory
  • Stabilizes moods and decreases anxiety

Having Trouble Sleeping?

Sleep problems can mean a number of different things. Some people have trouble falling asleep, while others wake up in the night and can’t fall back to sleep. Some people wake up too early, and still, others sleep too much—11 hours or more per night. At least one-third of teenagers experience a sleep problem four or more times a week.

Some of the reasons they’re not sleeping are:

  • Stress
  • Busy schedule
  • Conflict with friends or family
  • Watching TV or playing video games too close to bedtime
  • Pain
  • Certain medications
  • Nightmares
  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug or alcohol abuse
  • Illness
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol too close to bedtime

Proper diet and exercise will help with sleeping patterns. Did you read our article How To Stay Healthy?