5 Things You Should Know: Teens and Sleep

#2 - Physical Effects of Poor Sleep Habits

Only about 20 percent of teens report they get the recommended nine hours of sleep on school nights. Lack of sufficient and quality sleep can put teens (or anyone, really) at risk for cognitive and emotional difficulties, accidents, physical illness and mental disorders, including depression.

Depression in teenagers is tricky and a subject of much study. Teens who are vulnerable to depression may find that carrying a sleep debt increases the odds of suffering from the disease. Those already suffering from depression may find that their sleep patterns are inconsistent and their sleep quality is poor (frequently interrupted or cut short).

Teens who suffer from poor sleep quality may also suffer from increased odds of pre-hypertension and elevated blood pressure, poor physical performance and a weakened immune system, which means more sick days at school.