Teens go sleepless

Unhealthy Habit

Teens go sleepless

Preeti, a BSc student, said, “I used to sleep for more than eight hours when I was young. But after I joined the degree course, I haven’t had much sleep. Every night, some thing or the other keeps me awake, be it chatting with my friends online or completing my assignments.”

Teenagers need more sleep than adults as they are in the growing stage. What are the main reasons for sleep deprivation among teenagers? Dr Satish, a child specialist, says, “During the teen years, body’s circadian rhythm is temporarily re-set telling the young mind to fall asleep late and wake up late. Also, the brain hormone melatonin is produced late in the night in teens than it is in kids and adults.This makes it harder for teens to fall asleep early.”

A couple of hours of missed sleep a night may not seem like a big deal but it can create a noticeable sleep deficit over a period of time. This sleep deficit impacts everything from a person’s ability to think to his or her mood. Slowed responses and concentration follow.
According to Dr Shantha Abraham, sleeping tight in a dark room, after having a glass of milk, for nine hours makes a body sound. Akhila, an engineering student, says, “I could catch up some sleep only at 3.30 am today after completing my assignments. Since the day I joined my degree course, these assignments and projects have kept me awake all nights. I fall asleep in the class almost all the days. Cannot help it.”

Sleep keeps us healthy by slowing our body’s systems and re-energising us. Lack of sleep has also been linked to emotional troubles such as sadness and depression. Many teenagers are depressed moody and cranky as they do not get enough sleep.

Be it for the completion of assignments, to chat late night with friends, listening to music, watching TV or preparing for the exams, teens today have their own reasons in burning the midnight oil. Beverages with caffeine and nicotine in cigarettes causes the teens to have restless or sleepless nights.

Praveen Nair, a B Com student, says, “I chat with my friends till late in the night. Night is the best time to be with friends when everybody is asleep. This way, I feel I am the ruler of the world. I sit late till 3 am, still I am not ready to snooze.”

And dark circles are not a threat to the beauty-conscious teens as make-up helps them hide it. Naila, a BBM student said, “What do we get by sleeping? It’s so much fun to stay awake late night.”

But the teens do not understand that to look and feel good, a sound sleep of eight to ten hours is required. Teenagers should include ‘sleep’ as an item in their agenda to stay creative and healthy.


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