Example of dark circles

If you suspect your teen isn’t getting the sleep they need, check out these 8 warning signs.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to one of the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America polls, teenagers who aren’t getting enough sleep are more likely to feel depressed more frequently than their peers.  Teens that don’t get the sleep they need are more likely to feel unhappy, sad, depressed, hopeless, nervous, tense, and worried.  Being a teenager is hard enough without having additional mood swings simply because of not getting enough sleep.  If your teen seems down, they may not be getting the 8.25-9.5 hours of sleep recommended by the National Sleep FoundationHere are some other signs that your teen may be struggling with sleep.


1.     Struggling in School

Lack of sleep can impair our cognitive abilities and makes it more difficult to learn and to retain new information.  If your teen’s grades suddenly shift in a downward direction make sure you look at how much sleep they are getting on most nights.


2.     Lack of Concentration

Another cognitive ability that is impaired when we are sleep deprived is the ability to concentrate which can impact everything from school work to sports to other activities.


3.     Not Listening

While it is true that all teens use selective listening when it comes to their parents, sleep deprivation also limits our ability to listen.  If you notice your teen struggling to listen to directions or to participate in a conversation, sleep may be to blame.


4.     Inability to Remember Things

Sleep deprivation also has a big impact on memory and can lead to forgetfulness.  If your teen is losing things more frequently, forgetting about appointments or events, or coming home without books or homework assignments, the amount of sleep they are getting may be to blame.


5.     Increase in Acne

Although it might not seem to be related, lack of sleep can also increase your teen’s acne problems.  The National Sleep Foundation says that not getting the sleep they need can make them more pimple prone and may exacerbate existing skin conditions.


6.     Short Tempered

It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you don’t get enough sleep, you are going to be more irritable than you would be if you did.  When you are a teenager, this can leave you short-tempered and may contribute toward more being more aggressive, snapping at people you shouldn’t like parents and teachers, and other undesirable behavior.


7.     Weight Problems

Recent research has established that lack of sleep can be a contributing factor in weight management issues and obesity.  When you don’t get enough sleep, you can experience hormonal changes and imbalances that directly affect the food you eat and your weight.  If your teen is struggling with their weight or struggling to lose weight, make sure sleep is part of their healthy weight management program.


8.     Sicker than they Should Be

One of the key things that happens during sleep is immune system improvement.  When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system can become compromised or degraded.  This can lead to lots of little illnesses and may contribute to some much bigger long-term health problems.  If your teen seems to pick up every bug that goes around, check their sleep schedule.