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Why Sleepy Teens Can’t Wake Up to Good Nutrition Habits


This article on adolescents and sleep is part of a series on teenage nutrition. You can read the introduction to this series from these two articles “What Is On Your Family’s Breakfast Plate” and “Teenage Nutrition: Why You Should Pick This Battle For Your Adolescent.” We are very excited to bring you this and hope you feel comfortable to add your own thoughts, tips and suggestions.

As I write this article I took a pause to just run up the stairs and check that my teenager was sleeping. No, she wasn’t. She knows I am mad that she didn’t listen at 9:30 to go bed and the second call at 10:00 with the last reminder at 10:20. She is going to be tired tomorrow and I am still fuming at her. Why is it hard to get these teenagers to fall asleep at night? Do sleepy teens miss out on anything else but sleep?

How Many Hours Of Sleep Does Your Teenager Need?

Almost as much as a baby.


Your teen needs on average nine hours of restful sleep every night.  Read more on this here:  “Kids and Sleep: A Health Link Often Overlooked

How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Usually Get?

On average about one hour a day less than they should. Teenagers around the globe are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep in teenagers is often overlooked as a possible cause of some teenager behavioral, learning and nutrition issues.

Can Adequate Sleep Keep Your Teen Eating Healthy?

Studies have shown that teenagers getting adequate amounts of sleep eat healthier, are less concerned with their weight, are leaner and are more pleasant to be around!

Teenagers who sleep less than eight hours a night on a weeknight eat more fatty foods and snacks than those who get more than eight hours of sleep a night, published in a recent article. A study of teenagers in New Jersey show that sleep deprived teens crave more carbohydrates.

Teen girls who felt peer pressure to be skinnier had more difficulty sleeping than their body-comfortable counterparts.  The author of this recent study suggested that it was worry woes that prohibited these teenagers from sleeping well.

Perhaps it is just starting off the day the right way with a good breakfast and adequate sleep that keeps teenagers feeling alert and healthy?

So Who Cares if My Teen Often Misses an Hour of Sleep? Is It really that Important?

According to The National Sleep Foundation, if you teen is sleep deprived, it can affect a full spectrum of teenage behavior and adolescent outcomes:

  • Impairs ability to pay attention, solve problems and remember information.
  • Nutritional issues.
  • Higher risk for automobile crashes.
  • Increased stress, irritability and depression.
  • Increased tobacco and alcohol use.
  • Lower athletic and academic performance.

The Spectrum Of Teenagers Getting Adequate Sleep is Connected to Everything

Adequate sleep means feeling alert. Feeling less tired means eating better. Having good nutrition means fueling your body with what it needs to grow and thrive. This helps a teenager’s mental health. In general, regular, good quality sleep of at least nine hours is essential to helping a teenager reach good mental and physical health.

How to Help You Get Your Teenager Their Nine Hours Of Sleep

I will leave this area to the experts. If I had any magical answers, my teenager would have slept when I checked on her before!

Check out this article for some great suggestions to get your teen to relax and into nanna sleep land at a decent time! For readers from France, here is my personal tip:  do not shut the shutters at night. Teens are very affected by light due to the hormone melatonin.  Natural light from the windows in the morning will help your teen to wake up with the sun.

What do you do to get your teen to sleep early enough?  Is your teen sleep deprived and did it affect their eating or behavior? Would love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this article, we would appreciate it if you passed it on.

Je vous souhaite une bonne nuit! I wish you a good night!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Teenage Nutrition and Sleep: What your Teen Should Avoid Before Bed | brightonyourhealth - March 14, 2012

    […] deprivation in teenagers seems to have an effect on what they eat during the day, as seen in this previous article in this series on teenage nutrition. On the other hand, certain foods and drinks that teens consume just before […]

  2. Ashley Taylor - March 10, 2012

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  3. Laura Melcher - March 10, 2012

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  7. Pat CW - March 8, 2012

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  8. Terra Ziporyn Snider - March 8, 2012

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  9. Suzanne Saxe-R, Ed.D - March 6, 2012

    RT @mbrighton66 Why Sleepy Teens Can’t Wake Up to Good Nutrition Habits: Teenagers around the globe are sleep de… http://t.co/XKX6iV2D

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