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By all accounts, adolescents are living in a state of severe and chronic sleep debt. Studies linking sleep loss and bad mental health fill stacks of clinical journals. Adolescents who sleep less than 8 hours a night are more most likely to report symptoms of depression. One analysis discovered that underslept teens getting six to seven hours a night were 17 percent most likely to consider hurting themselves than those sleeping eight; and sleeping 5 hours a night made them 81 percent more most likely to consider self-harm.

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Brain imaging studies have shown that sleep deprivation amps up the reactive, unfavorable psychological centers of the brain, while the prefrontal cortex which relieves and offers us viewpoint, judgment and emotional regulation is less active. The real question is: How could we anticipate this level of sleep deprivation not to deepen the fractures in teenagers' psychological health? No one questions the advantages of sleep for infants and kids.

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The restructuring of the adolescent brain is critical to healthy development and to a large degree, it happens during sleep. For one, teenager sleep has actually been declining for years because of too-early school start times and the snowballing of homework and activities. High schools have been incredibly slow to follow the science and adopt healthy schedules, which indicates lots of teens wake in the dark and miss critical early morning hours of sleep.

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That's a description of the average teenager's school week. Add to this that trainees can quickly have four hours of homework each night, despite the fact that research study suggests that more than one hour adds only stress and anxiety and no intellectual advantage. And college admissions committees still send the message that more is better, which leads to increased pressure on trainees and a stressful piling-on of activities, Advanced Placement classes and tutoring.

Some of the worst sleep stealers are Meta, You, Tube, Tik, Tok, Apple and other companies that specialize in producing addictive technologies that have actually penetrated teen life. Adolescents spend pre-bedtime hours on devices and tuck into bed with their phones on their pillows all of which substantially postpone sleep. The problem may sound intractable, however it's not.