Teenagers (adolescents) around the world only average about 6 hours of sleep everyday! In fact, adolescents need about 9 ½ hours sleep a night to be fully alert. So they keep carrying forward a nearly 4-hour deficit every night!
This explains why most of them drag themselves through high school and college like zombies. It gives us an insight into their moody and lethargic behavior and explains why they are most of the times unprepared or unable to learn. Teenagers actually need more sleep than children because of the significant changes that accompany the transition to adulthood.
You can help your teenagers by encouraging them to follow simple guidelines:
A teenager should average as close to 9½ hours a night as possible. Though it sounds like oversleeping, global research has allowed coming to such a optimum duration for this age group.
2. Establish a regular sleep/wake schedule
Teenagers maybe forced to stick to schedules on week days owing to the school timings and work loads, however, these schedules (if any) go for a toss on weekends. However, its important to stick to the schedule even on weekends to avoid readjustment blues once the weekday restarts!
3. Exercise to stay fit
A good 20-30 minutes of mild exercise at least three times a week can help a teenager. However, they should not exercise too close to bedtime. Outdoor sports activities are apt replacement for an exercise regimen.
4. Limit caffeine late in the day
The coffee culture (thanks to Coffee Day) is a growing fad in the metros of India. You see teens thronging these places and making a lot happen over a coffee! For those who don't hang out at these expensive joints, the high caffeine content in cola, and also in chocolate makes up. Limiting caffeine intake after 6pm will help a teenagers sleep patterns.
5. Avoid alcohol
Even a low amount of alcohol if consumed by a sleep-deprived person sets the stage for disaster especially when driving. Exhausted adolescents who are learning to drive and learning to drink are most vulnerable to this deadly combination. Now, even if they are not driving, alcohol should be avoided.