If you’re failing math, you might think that you just need to study harder. If you’re not performing your best at sports, you might think you just need to practice more. But in both cases what you really might need is more sleep. Consider why.
Why do you need sleep?
- Sleep sharpens your mental skills. Sleep has been called “food for the brain”. It can help you improve at school, at sports, and in your problem-solving skills.
- Sleep improves your attitude and mood. Sleep-deprived people are more likely to experience mood swings, feel sad or depressed, and have problems getting along with others.
- Sleep makes you a safer driver. A study in the United States revealed that drivers aged 16 to 24 were “nearly twice as likely to be drowsy at the time of their crash” when compared with drivers aged 40 to 59.
- Sleep promotes better health. Sleep helps your body maintain and repair its cells, tissues, and blood vessels. Quality sleep can also lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, and stroke.
WHAT IS KEEPING YOU UP?
Despite the benefits we have mentioned, many teenagers aren’t getting the sleep they need. This is what some of them say:
- Social life. «It´s too easy to stay up late and waste time, especially on nights when I go out with friends»
- Responsibilities. «I love to sleep, but it’s hard to get enough with such a busy schedule»
- Technology. «My phone is a big reason I neglect my sleep. It’s hard to resist looking at it when I’m in bed»
How can you get more sleep?
- Check your viewpoint about sleep.
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Without it, the quality of your work, and even the quality of your fun, will plummet!
- Identify your biggest obstacle to sleep.
For example, do you stay out late with friends? Do you feel overloaded with homework and chores? Does your mobile phone keep you up past your bedtime or wake you up after you´ve gone to sleep?
- Give yourself time to unwind.
If you start relaxing before it´s time to go to bed, you will likely fall asleep more quickly.
- Be proactive.
Rather than allow your circumstances to control you, take control of your schedule so that you get the sleep you need.
- Strive for consistency.
Your body´s internal clock will work for you, but only if you train it. Experts suggest that you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Try it for a month, and see how much better you feel.
- Let your phone “sleep” too!
For at least an hour before bedtime, resist the urge to browse the internet or send late-night texts to your friends. In fact, some experts warn that the type of light that comes from a phone, a TV, or a tablet can make it harder for you to get to sleep.