Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly, particularly if you are behind the wheel. You can look bad, you may feel moody, and you perform poorly. Sleepiness can make it hard to get along with your family and friends and hurt your scores on school exams, on the court or on the field. For example, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel cause more than , car crashes every year.
Besides leaving your teen yawning and cranky during the day, sleep deprivation can increase the chances that he or she will perform poorly in school, become depressed or stressed out, get colds more frequently, or have an accident while driving. If your teen seems tired and irritable all the time, you might blame these changes on the infamous hormonal swings that accompany adolescence, but they could be signs of insufficient sleep. First off, your teen may claim to not have enough time to sleep, given all the homework and other responsibilities that he or she has. Perhaps, for example, it's time for your teen to give up a non-essential after-school activity or job, or maybe it's time for him or her to stop texting or socializing on the Internet.
A new study shows how adolescents quickly improved their sleep time and quality in just one week's time. Oh, teens and their sleep. On the one hand, they need a lot of it — yet on the other, fulfilling that need is elusive for many.