Why Are You So Sleepy?

How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Most likely it’s not the recommended 8-10 hours. This could be contributing to why you’re falling asleep in class. Maybe you shouldn’t blame your ‘boring’ teacher?

It’s common for a teen to develop inconsistent sleep schedules as we have school early morning and stay up late to complete homework or extra curriculars. However, if we’re being completely honest it’s hard to stop scrolling on your phone at night because that’s the time you can finally relax. It is a proven fact these technologies prevent you from being tired. Not to mention, many take a nap after school to combat their lack of energy. This may do more harm then good if you aren’t considering the time of day and length of your nap. In fact, if done wrong napping can raise sleepiness as it throws off your sleep schedule even more. Who knew napping could be so difficult?

Aside from school, your phone, and inconsistent naps, you may be surprised to know that it totally natural to be tired or have trouble sleeping. As a teen your internal clock runs on a different time due to hormonal changes that are produced throughout the day. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a critical role in our sleep schedules. It is released in adolescents in the evening and drops in the morning. This is most likely the reason you have such high energy in the evening and can barely keep your eyes open while brushing your teeth in the morning.

Now that you know it is normal to feel sleepy that doesn’t mean you have an excuse for being late to class or simply sleeping in class. Sleep deprivation is not something to take lightly. If serious it can cause a short attention span, lower grades, social withdrawal, weaken your immune system and other health related issues. It’s important to take into consideration a reasonable bed time and prioritize your day around that. Simple ways to get better sleep include:

  1. Keep technology out of the bedroom. In fact, limit your bedroom to sleeping only in order to create a sleep inducing environment.
  2. Be smart about napping — a healthy nap can range from 20-30 mins late afternoon.
  3. Exercise during the day to improve and get deep sleep.
  4. Set aside an hour before bedtime to unwind. Listen to music, read or do an activity that will help your body and mind relax. Remember this does not include screen time.
  5. Don’t go to bed hungry. It’s true you must avoid eating heavy meals 1-2 hrs before bedtime. However, going to bed on an empty stomach will only keep you awake. Eat some fruit or cereal but avoid fatty foods.

Maybe you learned a thing or two but what you should take from this article is one thing: as a teen it is okay to be tired but make time and maintain a healthy sleeping schedule. So next time you’re scrolling on your phone at 12am, think back to this article and remind yourself the importance of good quality sleep. Good night… don’t let the bed bugs bite.