16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation

Please Note: If you missed part 1, get it here: 16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation, Part 1

8. Obesity: As I reported in my article, 6 Sleep Deprivation Effects on Obesity and Weight Loss, sleep deprivation can lead to increases in hunger, appetite, and cravings for sweets and snacks. This in turn can lead to teen obesity.

9. Too much caffeine. Sleep deprivation in teens can lead to reliance on heavy doses of soda pops that contain caffeine. This can mean too much unhealthy sugar, teen obesity as described above, and a vicious sleep cycle of being too wired at night to go to sleep at a decent hour. This excess caffeine use may also lead to sleep disturbances during the night.

10. Depression and negative moods. It's hard enough being a teenager without these. Yet millions of teens are down in the dumps because of too little sleep. As I pointed out in my article,

Get Some Sleep Teen! early start times for public schools are partly to blame for the problems with teens and sleep.

11. Low self-esteem.

A study in Child Development (January/February 2004) of 2,259 students, aged 11 to 14, showed that sleep deprivation effects were a strong predictor of lower self esteem.

12. Poor grades and academic performance. Sleep study after sleep study has shown a strong correlation between sleep deprivation in teens and lower grades in school.

13. Increased risk of unintentional injuries

14. Higher levels of risk-taking behavior. A study in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (March 2005) showed a relationship between teen sleep deprivation and risky behavior. These behaviors included violence, marijuana use, drug abuse (other than marijuana), alcohol use, tobacco use, and sexual behaviors.

15. Poor concentration. An obvious factor in poor grades, as well as death and injury of teenage drivers.

16. Microsleep episodes. And finally, problems with teenagers and sleep can lead to microsleep episodes. Microsleeps are sleep episodes that last anywhere from a split second up to thirty seconds. A teen may not even be aware that they have fallen asleep.

Microsleep could be what's responsible for the rash of teenage drivers getting into accidents, teens falling asleep in school, as well as poor grades and academic performance.

The importance of adequate teen sleep cannot be over emphasized. Now that you've seen the daily challenge of teenagers and sleep, what can be done about this epidemic of sleep deprivation in teens?

Continue reading these articles below for some of the best ways to solve the ongoing—and dangerous problem—of teen sleep deprivation.

Teenage Sleep: 8 Steps to Restful Nights Part 1

Teenage Sleep: 8 Steps to Restful Nights Part 2

Extreme Teen Night Owls: Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

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