How Sleep Habits Affect Your Teen’s Anxiety Levels

Sleep and your teen's anxiety levels. What to do to help.Anxiety can be caused by a lot of factors. It can be caused by genetics, traumatic events and even stress. Anxiety is something that is common with teenagers. If it is left unabated it could develop into serious complications and even cause disastrous health issues. Sleep is often one of the things that can impact anxiety levels. Lack of sleep often can make anxiety worse and it will surely not bode well. Let us take a look how sleep debt can make anxiety symptoms worse as lack of sleep can make anxiety worse.


Does your teenager snore a lot? If the teenager is on the chubby side there is a possibility that he is suffering from sleep apnea. It pays to look into the phenomenon with great care and concern. Sleep apnea could cause sleep disruptions that may leave your teenagers’ amygdala affected which is known to cause panic attacks and increase anxiety symptoms. Not only that, what is worse is that it could cause oxygen deprivation that can lead to sudden death. The next time you hear your teenager snoring it pays to have it checked by the doctor so that appropriate medication and treatment would be given to address both the snoring and the anxiety levels.

Irregular cycles

Teach your teenager that irregular sleep cycles can increase anxiety levels. In fact, adolescents that don’t get much sleep could make them think more negative thoughts that would make their anxiety worse. This cycle of sleep debt feeds anxiety and anxiety feeds lack of sleep. Teens often are given the liberty to choose when to sleep at night. This can be disastrous to mental health. It means that they will be not getting enough rest to allow the mind and the body repels the negative impact of anxiety. It is best to explain to your teenager the value of keeping a regular cycle of sleep to help him/her to get into the groove and lower anxiety levels.

Sleep rituals

Lack of sleep rituals often affect the ability of people to sleep earlier and longer. Contrary to popular thought, teens need more than seven hours of sleep each night. But the onset of puberty resets the body clock that they have been using during childhood. This means they get to sleep a bit later and shorter. As teenagers become increasingly incapable of sleeping longer and earlier they get less chances to get restful sleep and will further intensify their anxiety levels that could lead to the development of anxiety disorders or depression if there is nothing done to avert it.

Sleep values

As children become adolescents the value of sleep becomes more mundane. This could cause not only increased anxiety but also physical symptoms. Headaches, hyperactivity and nausea are common responses of teenagers that do not give much value on restful sleep. Lack of sleep also cause aches, tremors and even slurred speech that could lead to potentially dangerous fainting or cause hernia. As a parent it is important to reinforce the value of good sleep and better rest regardless of age. The value of sleep should not be neglected just because the child has become a teenager and the sleeping times have become too liberal compared to childhood times.

Sleep debts

Lack of sleep as a result of sleep disruption will not cause an exaggeration of anxiety symptoms but also cause teenagers to poor impulse control which makes them susceptible to peer pressure. This may lead to dangerous precedents which may include dabbling into substance abuse and even alcohol addiction. There is a tendency that your teenage child will be dragged into a life of complexity and addiction all because he is not getting much sleep.

Establishing healthy sleep habits is important for excellent mental health. There are medications that can help abate the anxiety. But promoting healthy sleeping habits are more important and would be longer lasting as you would see dramatic improvements in the control of anxiety levels.

Elspeth Raisbeck

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