Sleep is the most important thing for physical and mental health. Adolescents need to sleep eight to nine hours per night. When you calculate that out, they need to be going to bed at 9pm or 10pm and that’s not very common for kids in high school with after school sports and extracurriculars and rigorous academics.
What we want to look at is what symptoms lack of sleep could be causing that look like depression. Lack of sleep can cause irritability that leads to fighting with parents and friends, social withdrawal and isolation, exhaustion, poor concentration and inability to focus, grades dropping, and increased appetite, among many others.
Sleep is so important to daily functioning that it is worth spending time finding ways to maximize your sleep quality. My first recommendation is a sleep tracking fitbit for those having difficulty prioritizing sleep. It will keep track of your hours asleep, help you be mindful of the goal and motivate you to “score” a healthy average for the week. There are also apps on your phone that can track it as well. Don’t use any screens before bed. The blue light they admit is telling your brain to wake up. This one is really hard for teenagers especially, but if you can’t sleep try using your bedroom only for a place of sleep so your brain will associate the room with sleep, not watching youtube or instagram. Spend time doing homework and hanging out in a different room in the house.
If you have any other questions about sleep leave a comment on my youtube channel and I’ll try to address them in another video.