Is your teenager getting enough sleep?

According to an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 2018), 73% of adolescents in high school do not get adequate sleep, meaning they get less than 8 hours per night. Studies have shown that females and African American teenagers are disproportionately affected by this statistic. For teenagers (ages 13 and older), the AAP recommends between 8-10 hours of sleep per night on average for optimal benefits. Children between the ages of 6-12 years old are advised to sleep 9-12 hours per night. 

Sleep deprivation can have several consequences to a teenager’s health. There is a close relationship between sleep and mood disorders, especially depression. Poor sleep can negatively affect emotional regulation and overall mood; it has even been shown to increase risk of self harm among adolescents. Cognitive performance and ability to focus in school and other activities is also decreased with inadequate sleep habits. Limited sleep has also been associated with decreased metabolism rates and increased risk for obesity in teens. 

Voluntary sleep restriction is a common cause of sleep deprivation in teenagers; this may be due to a busy schedule, homework load, or many other causes. Other triggers for sleep deprivation in teens may include poor sleep hygiene, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, and insomnia. Setting up the sleeping space for a healthier night time routine can be a first step to improving sleep habits. Limiting exposure to bright lights and screens before bed can help facilitate faster and more effective sleep. It is recommended to keep screens out of the bedroom as much as possible. Additionally, too warm temperatures have proven to make sleep more difficult, while sleeping in a cooler environment facilitates deeper sleep stages earlier in the night. Be mindful of caffeine intake during the day as well; in addition to coffee, watch out for caffeine in sodas, teas, and chocolate.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child or teen’s sleep, please call to schedule a consult appointment with one of our providers!

Jenco, M. (January 25, 2018). Study: 73% of high school students not getting enough sleep. AAP News. 

Kansagra, S. (May 1, 2020). Sleep Disorders in Adolescents. Pediatrics, 145.

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13880 Braddock Road Suite 201 Centreville, VA 20121

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Our phones are only open 8AM to 5PM M-F and Saturday 8:30-10. Below are the times that patients are scheduled. We close for lunch 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM.

Union Mill Pediatrics


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


Call For Saturday Triage Service: 8:30-10:00