Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep

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Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep Essay

We all know how important sleep is for our lives. Sleeping, as well as eating, drinking water and exercising, is key not only for the mere reason of surviving, but also contributes to our overall wellbeing and physical and mental health. However, sleep habits change in the course of our lives: the amount of sleep and our sleep patterns as babies differ from the ones we have during childhood, teenage years, adulthood and later in life. In this paper I will discuss sleep during adolescence and how it can have consequences on a person’s behavior. My initial thesis is that poor sleep and sleeping patterns can have a negative impact on a teenager’s behavior since adolescence present numerous physical and emotional changes that already put both the body and the mind of the person in a state of stress, making the person less capable of going through the day and fulfill their tasks properly. In addition to this, an adolescent may also have less tools and resources to understand what we mean by good sleeping habits, which can also complicate things and further affect their behavior and their performance. Teenagers also may have fewer tools to cope with lack of sleep when compared to adults, which may further irritate them and difficult the already tricky task of managing being a teen. Despite the importance of sleep, it seems like teenagers are predisposed to struggle with it.Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep Essay

According to the National Sleep Foundation (2018), adolescents experiences a shift in their sleep pattern due to biological reasons, causing them to struggle to fall asleep before 11: 00 pm and getting up before 8: 00 am.Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep Essay Even if this has a biological explanation and teens may not be able to control this, I can assume that it nevertheless causes rifts between them and parents who are trying to instill good sleeping patterns in their children, further affecting a teen’s behavior and interactions within their family. Sleeping habits may then become a subject of tension within a family, adding to the challenges that come with raising someone through adolescence. It may also present a struggle within the teenagers and themselves, who may try to go to bed early to be able to be properly rested but failing in actually falling asleep. This can certainly cause feelings of frustration that may lead them to just stop trying all together and accepting their nocturnal owl life, affecting their sense of agency and accomplishment. It is not easy for them or their parents understand that this phase is closely related biology, and that this sleep delay is not only not their fault, but also something normal and common. However, according to Mary A. Carskadon (2006), the way teenagers sleep not only affects their families, but the way they perform outside of the family home as well. She says that a teenager that observes sleep deprivation is more likely to be late or missing school, lacking initiative in class and other activities, having their grades suffer, amongst other issues. School, especially in those teenage years, it’s important not only because of the learning aspect of it, but also because of the relationships and bonds that you build during those times. Being someone who is constantly in a moody behavior or inside a haze because of sleep deprivation can negatively affect your relationship with others and paint you as a negative person, something that can have consequences on the way your peers perceive you and relate to you.


Carskadon (2006) points out that with lack of sleep a teenager is closely related to anger outburst which can lead to confrontations with family, friends, classmates and teachers. What I can think of this is that those moments may not respond to the teenager’s normal behavior, but rather a moment of being impatient and irritable because of the lack of energy to meet the demands of a normal adolescent. And yet, those moments can be very impactful of someone’s relationship with others and leave a lasting impression and/or consequence. While these reasons that I previously mentioned are important, maybe the biggest proof that my thesis was right about the negative impact of sleep deprivation in adolescent behavior is the impact this can have in a teenager’s mental health. Based on a testimony by Dr. Troxel for the New York Times (2017), new cases of depression “skyrocket” during teenage years, while sleep problems contribute to such medical condition because, as Troxe in the New York Times (2017) states, “sleep is linked to areas of the brain that control emotional processes and risk taking” which means that there is indeed a correlation between behavioral issues and mental health issues with sleeping habits and patterns during adolescence. With this last argument, I can see that the importance of sleep during those teenage years and how little we talk about it.Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep Essay

As the New York Times (2017) article that I previously cited said, we talk a lot about the way substance abuse, unsafe sex and violence and the way they affect teenagers and their development, but we don’t talk enough about sleep and the effects of poor sleeping habits, something that also has a serious impact on someone’s life. Maybe because we don’t see the consequences like we do with drug abuse and teen pregnancy, but they are still there: grades, relationships with friends and family, motivation, participation in activities and overall, the emotional and physical wellbeing of someone, mental health, amongst others. Adolescence is already hard enough to add further struggles to it. What we can do is educate people around us, so we can understand how sleeping habits and patterns work when we are going through adolescence and offer support in any way we can by being compassionate and caring. This alone may be a game changer for someone having a hard time and have a positive.Negative Impact Of Poor Sleep Essay