Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. The right amount of sleep is essential for anyone who wants to do well on a test or play sports without tripping over their feet. Unfortunately, though, many teens don’t get enough sleep.

Sleep is important Each person needs a certain amount of rest and sleep to remain healthy.

Were you aware that you will spend almost one third of your life sleeping? During our waking moments our nerve cells are constantly active and become more or less fatigued. Sleep gives the body cells an opportunity of ridding themselves of waste and of repairing themselves. To insure a recovery period from such fatigue, we undergo the periodic loss of consciousness known as sleep. Sleep is such an important bodily function, and even though we might put off going to sleep, eventually sleep will take over.

Sleep is a type of unconsciousness and is a state of being unaware of the world. Sleep is essential to good health as it refreshes the body and the mind. If you get enough sleep regularly every night you will feel and also be able to work better.

Recorded brain waves have helped in the study of the different stages of sleep. The studies have indicated that there are four stages of sleep that occur in cycles each lasting about ninety minutes. At first when you fall asleep, your brain waves will slow down, then they get slower and slower in the second and third stages of sleep as you become more relaxed. As you go thru the third of these stages you become even more unaware of the world outside. The fourth stage is the deepest stage in the cycle. REM or rapid eye movement is the fourth stage and the stage in which most people dream. It is indicated by the back-and-forth movement of the eyes under the eyelids. After ten or more minutes of REM sleep, the sleep cycle repeats three or four times. During REM sleep, not only do your eyes move around quickly under your closed lids, your heart rate increases, and all your automatic body processes speed up. These periods last about twenty minutes at a stretch and occur four or five times during the night. REM sleep alternates with non-REM sleep, during which your body functions slow down and you get your deepest sleep.

If you are having dreams while you are sleeping you should be assured this is actually good for your health. Some people do not remember their dreams and do not think they do dream but it is widely thought that all people do dream.

Try to form regular sleeping habits. If you are over fatigued you might have trouble going to sleep. A person’s state of mind at the time when he is trying to fall asleep needs to be relaxed.

Why Aren’t Teens Getting Enough Sleep?

Until recently, teens were often given a bad rap for staying up late, oversleeping for school, and falling asleep in class. But recent studies show that adolescent sleep patterns actually differ from those of adults or kids.

These studies show that during the teen years, the body’s circadian rhythm is temporarily reset, telling a person to fall asleep later and wake up later. This change in the circadian rhythm seems to be due to the fact that the brain hormone  melatonin is produced later at night for teens than it is for kids and adults. This can make it harder for teens to fall asleep early.

These changes in the body’s circadian rhythm coincide with a time when we’re busier than ever. For most teens, the pressure to do well in school is more intense than when they were kids, and it’s harder to get by without studying hard. And teens also have other time demands — everything from sports and other extracurricular activities to fitting in a part-time job to save money for college.

How Do I Know if I’m Getting Enough?

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

  • difficulty waking up in the morning
  • inability to concentrate
  • falling asleep during classes
  • feelings of moodiness and even depression

Tips To Get More Sleep

  • Go to bed at a regular set time. If you go to bed at the same time each night it signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Awakening at the same time every day will help establish sleep patterns. It is important to stick to your sleep schedule even on weekends. Going to sleep no more than an hour later or waking up no later than 2 to 3 hours longer than you would usually do during the week.
  • Yes you should exercise regularly, even if it is just a walk around the block, every bit helps. Of course do not just before going before bed, this can raise your body temperature and keep you from falling to sleep. Most sleep experts agree that exercising 5 or 6 hours before bedtime will help a person sleep longer and quicker.
  • Don’t drink beverages with caffeine, such as coke and coffee, after 4 PM. Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant, so quitting smoking could help you sleep better. Alcohol consumption in the evening, although relaxing can actually cause you to be restless and awaken during the night.
  • Find inner peace, rest your your mind, think of pleasant thoughts and places. A special vacation spot or favourite beach. Do not watch action movies or TV shows right before bed. Believe it or not reading suspense books can keep you from falling or staying asleep.
  • Slowly unwind by keeping the lights low. This is important because light informs the brain that it’s time to wake up. Keep out of bright lights, keep off the computer before going to bed and listen to soothing music. It sometimes helps to pick a certain soothing music and play the same song every night right before bed. Your mind will soon use this as an additional trigger to set in motion your sleep cycle. Think slow peaceful thoughts, breath slowly and relax.
  • Try not to nap during the day too much. Any Nap of more than 30 minutes will keep you from falling asleep later.
  • Your sleep environment is also very important. Your bedroom should be uncluttered and peaceful, with gentile soothing colours. Avoid reds and blues.Keep your room dark, slightly on the cool side.
  • If possible wake yourself up with up with bright light, especially from the sun. This signals the brain to get going its morning!