In addition to ensuring that they sleep well and adequately, teenagers should also ensure that they don’t go to bed at completely different times. A recent American study (JAMA Pediatrics) suggests that poor sleep hygiene in adolescence can even have a negative effect on weight.
“The day-night rhythm should be in harmony with daily activities. Irregular sleeping times disrupt the body’s internal biological clock, ”explains Dr. Monika Niehaus, pediatrician and member of the expert committee of the professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ). According to the study, especially “night owls”, ie adolescents who prefer to go to bed late but have to go to school early, tend to have a larger waist circumference and greater fat deposits in the abdomen compared to early risers among adolescents – regardless of the age Sleep duration. Girls were particularly prone to this.
Another study (Journal of Pediatrics) even warns that overweight adolescents who go to bed late or don’t get enough sleep despite early school hours may increase the risk of developing sugar disease. Little sleep resulted in poor blood sugar levels. Most teenagers need around 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
During the teenage years, the body’s circadian rhythm (the internal biological clock) shifts. Teenagers tend to fall asleep later and wake up later. This is probably due to the “sleep hormone” melatonin, which is released later in the evening in teenagers than in children and adults. This is why teenagers often have a hard time falling asleep early. “How much of the hormone is released also depends on the light. If daylight gets into the eye, the formation of melatonin is inhibited. In the dark, on the other hand, the release is stimulated, ”explains Dr. Never house.
Bright light – especially from screen devices – makes it difficult to fall asleep. Ideally, teenagers should not use a smartphone, tablet, computer or watch TV for at least 1 hour before bed.
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