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Sleep during adolescence – 13 years and over

We all do it – but how much do you know about what happens when we sleep?

Why is sleep important?

Getting the right amount of sleep at night is important for all sorts of reasons. But don’t just take our word for it, the crucial factor in developing a positive sleep routine is that you feel motivated and see a personal benefit to doing so. Below are some of the key positive impacts of getting a good night’s sleep to help kick start your motivation:

 

  • Improved Memory: A process called consolidation, which occurs whilst you’re asleep, helps to strengthen memories and consolidate skills learned while you were awake. Whether you’re learning a new language, sport or subject in school, sleep plays a vital part in speeding up that learning process.
  • Boost Creativity: As well as consolidating and strengthening memories, a good night’s sleep can allow your brain to re-structure and essentially make sense of ideas, problems and new concepts you might have learned during the day. This can help us to wake up feeling more creative and better able to take on anything that might have been causing us confusion the day before.
  • Improve Athletic Ability: Studies have found that a variety of sports people can improve their athletic performance and increase stamina by getting a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Improved Attention: Some studies have shown that young people who don’t get enough sleep at night on a recurring basis may not do as well at school and find it harder to concentrate and learn in school/college. On the plus side, those who have a positive sleeping pattern should experience improved attention and ability to learn new information.
  • Reduced Stress: Sleep and stress levels are really closely linked, and whilst a lack of sleep can cause increased stress levels the good news is that the equation works the other way – therefore the more sleep you get (preferably between 8-10 hours a night) the lower your stress levels could become. Sleep also helps to improve emotional stability which can in turn help to reduce the risks of depression.
  • Better Skin: Not only does a reduction of the hormone cortisol help to improve our stress levels, it can also have the knock-on effect of improving our skin health and such conditions as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
  • Stronger Immune System: Getting a good night’s sleep won’t prevent you from ever getting ill, but it will certainly help. Regularly lacking in sleep can cause your immune system to be less effective, which makes you more likely to catch infections such as colds and flu.

 

Source: National Sleep Foundation