The Connection Between Teen Jet Lag and Lack of Sleep
A new study in the UK shows that thousands of British teens experience jet lag almost every Monday morning. No, there isn’t some jet setting lifestyle that’s unique to our friends across the pond, rather they’re experiencing the symptoms of jet lag due to severe lack of time sleeping on the best mattress. Jet lag is the experience of feeling groggy or underslept due to your internal body clock not matching your external surroundings. When you’re in an airplane and flying to a different time zone, this can happen when your body thinks it is ten pm, but your time zone tells you something different. If you aren’t sleeping enough (or if you’re just using your phone while laying on the best mattress, as teens tend to do), then your body’s internal clock can also be thrown off. The effects are compounding, so it can take up to three or four days into the week for a teen to recover from it — that means that the school week is almost over by the time they get right again!
Sleep is Extra Important for Teens
This is troubling as the health benefits of a lot of sleep for teens is especially strong. Teen bodies are changing at a great rate during the years of high school, and need the fortifying qualities of a good night’s rest on the best mattress. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens get between ten and twelve hours of sleep a night, that’s over three hours more than the sleep equivalent for an adult! The reason is that teens need the hormones produced during deep REM sleep for their bodies to grow correctly. Not only that, the benefits of a good night’s sleep also lead to better mental wellness, and a greater sense of self — both items that can suffer greatly during a teen’s years in high school. So what do we do about it?
Simple Solution: Sleep More
It sounds funny, but the best way to combat this jet lag is to, well, put more time in on the best mattress. Make sure that your teen isn’t bringing their cellphone into bed with them, and make sure that they’re getting enough sleep on the weekends (hopefully while keeping a consistent sleep schedule). We’ve covered in past blogs the importance of letting your teen sleep in, and why that could be the most important thing we do for the economy, but it’s also important for their wellbeing and your parenting. A well-rested teen is a more well-reasoned teen, and in doing so will lead to stronger relationships and a better transactional understanding of why sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Those are great values to impart to your child at an early age — and if they understand the power of catching Z’s on the best mattress early on, that only spells good things for their future development. So ditch the phone, get them to bed, and avoid the jetlag. A happy teen will usually lead to a happy parent. Good luck!