Koala sleeping on a tree top

Koala sleeping on a tree top

Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting the right amount of sleep is essential for anyone who wants to do well on a test or play sports. Unfortunately, though, many teens don’t get enough sleep.

Early start times in some schools also might play a role in lost sleep. Teens who fall asleep after midnight may still have to get up early for school, meaning that they might squeeze in only 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night. A few hours of missed sleep a night may not seem like a big deal, but it all adds up.

Lack of sleep also is linked to emotional troubles, such as feelings of sadness and depression. Sleep helps keep us physically healthy, too, by slowing the body’s systems to re-energize us for everyday activities.

Am I Getting Enough Sleep?

Even if you think you’re getting enough sleep, you might not be getting enough. Here are some of the signs that you may need more sleep:

  • difficulty waking up in the morning
  • lack of concentration
  • falling asleep during classes
  • feelings of moodiness and even depression

How Can I Get More Sleep?

Some researchers, parents, and teachers have suggested that school classes begin later in the morning to accommodate teens’ need for more sleep. Some schools have implemented later start times.

girl asleep on book at desk

Not enough sleep = poor study habits

Here are some things that may help you to sleep better:

  • Set a regular bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid stimulants.
  • Relax your mind.
  • Unwind by keeping the lights low.
  • Don’t nap too much.
  • Avoid all-nighters.
  • Create the right sleeping environment.
  • Wake up with bright light.

If you’re drowsy, it’s hard to look and feel your best. Schedule “sleep” as an item on your agenda to help you stay creative and healthy.

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