Sleep and your brain

Sleep is often a tricky subject for young people but it is incredibly important and it is all to do with what's happening in your brain... 

What's your sleep like?

 Sleep graphic 1

 

If there is one thing guaranteed to cause arguments at home it's teenagers staying up late and sleeping in in the mornings...

But it not really your fault... it's your brain!  Sleep stop press

The teenage brain is going through some huge changes and sleep is a seriously important part of the process - so you need to get plenty of sleep

Teenagers need about 8 - 10 hours a night but just when it would be a good idea to have settled sleep patterns they are getting totally mucked about by puberty and hormones and stuff!! (apologies to proper scientists but 'stuff' is a really useful word...)

When you sleep you might think everything is resting. That's true for your body but your brain continues to be active. During puberty and the teenage years your brain is changing big time... it's having a clear out of stuff (like some memories you don't need), making different connections and storing new stuff... this takes up an incredible amount of energy and it has a lot more to do so,  you need more sleep. 

Obvious answer - go to bed earlier! But...

...all the hormones knocking about make your body clock go a bit weird and so you often don't feel sleepy or ready for sleep at a sensible time, so you end up going to bed late and sleeping late in the mornings (if you're allowed but you have to get up to go school and so you don't get enough sleep! 

And, not getting enough sleep can affect

  • your health 
  • your mood / emotions (more about brain chemicals)
  • your energy levels
  • your coordination;
  • your ability to focus;
  • your memory and ability to learn (just at the time when schools start wanting to you learn / remember heaps of things and do exams!) 

Top Tips for a Good Night's Sleep