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10 Horrible Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Teenage Brain

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Sleep is an important activity that vital to keep body function. During sleep the body will rejuvenate the neurons and other. Sleep also restore the energy and give back the stamina. It also detoxify brain and control thermoregulation function inside the brain. Sleep so important for the body so scientist recommend us to take approximately eight hours of sleep every night. Those hours of sleep will improve the performance of thinking and concentration. Everyone need sleep and the time of sleeping requirement is vary according to the age phase. Children and teenagers need more adequate sleep that will help them to improve their growth and brain development.

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Sleep is so important during teen years. Most of teenagers need sleep around 9 hours everynight. Lack of sleep during teen age can cause serious health problem. Nowadays most teens especially students are lack of sleep due to their homework or their behavior to play gadget, game or watching television until midnight. They didn’t realize how important sleep for them.


What is sleep deprivation ?

Sleep deprivation or a term for lack in sleeping time refer to the people who experience less sleeping time. Sleep deprivation can occur to anyone especially adult and teen. Teenager are usually students or college student usually got this sleep deprivation and should understand the risk of lack of sleeping time.
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Sleep deprivation is a common problem nowadays especially in the modern society. Because sleep is a perfect time for the body to heal wound, repair organs and regenerate vital parts, especially neurons lack of sleep can decrease body’s performance.

Sleep also has became one main subject in science for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, it has been proved scientifically that lack of sleep can trigger many unwanted side effects, including impaired thinking, lower memory, and depression


Sleep and teenager

Many teenagers nowadays especially student used to pull all night time to study and finish their project based on deadline. This could be harmful for them but they did’nt realize. Teenagers should know that sleep deprivation may give bad effect to the body especially in cognitive function and memory skill. Even worse it can effect the vital organs of the body.

Teenagers also lack of knowledge which explain the role of sleep during the learning and memory sroting process. Sleep can improve memory and turn the short term memory to long term memory but most of them don’t mind to take sleeping time for doing other task.


According to DR Sarah Blunden, a psychologist and sleep researcher there are are two main reasons that causing sleep deprivation in teenagers. Those are

1. Social changes and pressures.

Teenagers used to have many activities during their time like sport, watching tv, school, homework and etc and sleep is put in the lowest priority list. They love to do other things rather than sleeping. There are also many social influences that effect on sleep behavior such as in some countries that consider being active is more important than sleeping.

2.Circadian (sleep/wake) rhythm factors

During adolescence or teenager there is a delay of the melatonin or sleepy hormone production. This hormone will not be released before evening so they won’t feel feel sleepy before tired. This make them do other things before sleep such as watching tv or playing game in phone that will make them bored and sleepy. Later in the morning they will be hardly to woke up.

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Sleep Deprivation Effect

Some scientific studies have been conducted to found the effect of sleep deprivation to teenagers especially to their brain. Some of the effect which found are listed below :

1. Decrease ability to learn

The first horrible effects of sleep deprivation on teenage brain is decrease thier ability to learn. Student who experience lack of sleep will have lower ability to learn. The brain of teenagers will not tolerate their sleep pattern. Sleep deprivation can decrease the brain function in learning process. A study by Amy Martin et al from Department of Zoology North Carolina Sate University reported that student that get adequate sleep got better memory and cognitive performance compared to them who experience sleep deprivation.

2. Lower memory rate

Sleep deprivation can lower the memory. A study reported that students with adequate sleep tend to have better memory and performance during learning process. This is due to the sleep effect of stimulating the neuron in their brain. Lack of sleep may cause the brain hardly to memorize.

3. Lack of concentration and focus

Not only lack of memory, teenager who experience lack of sleep or sleep deprivation will be hardly to stay focus. They will be sleepy during the day since lack of sleep at night. They may sleep in classroom and it will effecting their academic performance.

4. Depression and anxiety

Lack os sleep can make teenagers brain easier to get depress and experience anxiety. Researcher found that teenager which come to bed early will have lower chance to build any mental illness such as depression and anxiety.

5. Poor decision making

Due to lack of focus and concentration, sleep deprivation can cause the teen take wrong decision or hardly to decide in most case of life or when they have to solve certain problem.

6. Negative behavior

Those mental illness which comes from sleep deprivation will effected the behavior of teenagers. Lack of sleep can make them behave under control and start to taking caffeine, alcohol and etc. This is consider as bad behavior in adolescence.

7. Emotional

Teenagers who experience sleep deprivation has lower emotion control. Due to lose focus and mental illness they will start to abuse or do negative things that they may not realize. The brain of teenagers that getting sleep deprivation is get disturbed and this may cause lack of emotional control.

8. Mood swing

Brain release several anti-stress hormone during sleep. Lack of sleep will make the brain hardly to released the substance and it effect to the teenagers mood. They will usually feel bad mood and their mood is not constant. They may feel happy and later get sad, and emotional.

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9. Increase frustration

As the teenagers brain that lack of sleep will easily effect by stress, they will also easier to get frustated. Once they don’t get the target their brain may not control their feeling and it increase the chance of getting frustrated. This is why sleep is so important to keep mental health and improving the academical performance.

The prefrontal cortex of the brain cannot cope losing several episode of sleep, so it loses its ability in learning. This will stimulate the feeling of frustration in students especially teenagers and make them easy to give up

10. Lost motivation

Sleep deprivation can make some part of the brain cant function well. It will effected to their behaviour and learning process. It also contributes in the academic result. Once teenagers experience sleep deprivation they will get frustrated and start to lose their motivation. They usually have low self esteem and have more problem during learning process.

How to prevent sleep deprivation in teenagers

There are some ways that can be done by parents and teens to avoid the effect of sleep deprivation. Below are the tips :

  • Parents should be aware that teenagers need to take adequate sleep.
  • Teenagers need to be sensible about sleep and stick to the schedule that they made
  • Keep sleeping time even on weekend. Its better to sleep early during weekend too
  • Taking nap during day is also good for teenagers. 20 minutes of nap is enough to maintain brain function
  • Avoid to take caffeine during night it will make teen will harder to sleep
  • Parents should make right schedule when children can play, watch TV, doing homework or other activity including sleep.
  • Try to drink milk before sleep it will help teen to feel sleepy and get to bed early
  • Start the bedtime routine 10 minutes earlier than usual. Do the same routine everynight
  • Avoid gadget such as phone and video game that can make teen hard to sleep

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