7 Reasons for Poor Sleep Quality in Adolescence


Teens are bubbling with energy and full of life. Studies do point to the fact that most teens face irregular sleep patterns and it takes a toll on their health. The needs of sleep are varied from one person to another. Teenage is a time where maximum growth and development of the body takes place. No wonders you would need a fair share of sleep than the standard protocols. For the body to be well rested a teenager would need around 9 hours of sleep.

Reasons for poor quality sleep in adolescence is insomnia, restless leg syndrome, obstructed sleep apnea, nightmares, GERD, light blues and circadian sleep disorders.

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Reasons for Poor Quality Sleep in Adolescence

Sleep problems in teens tend to emerge before they turn 13. Changing bodies along with sleeping habits in the time frame of 10 to 12 years have a close link with teen years. Since these habits are embedded on to their system it is pretty difficult to change them. The worst part is that these problems could stem over to the adult days.

1} Insomnia

The main reason of insomnia is attributed to stress. But it cannot be only blamed as physical discomfort along with emotional turmoil too has a role to play. If the sleeping environment is uncomfortable then doze quality is hampered.

Insomnia tends to occur on a recurring basis. If it lasts for a lengthy period of time, then it is of chronic nature. Professional advice then needs to be looked as an option.


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2} Restless leg syndrome with recurring limb movement malady

In case of the former a burning sensation is felt in your legs in the form of itching or cramps. You can relief this pain by moving the legs or arms. In periodic limb movement, jerks are witnessed. It is involuntary in nature as they do not follow a regular pattern.

For some iron deficiency may seem to be the reason for disorders, or medications could be prescribed by a doctor.

sleep quality in Adolescence

3} Obstructed Sleep Apnea

An individual experiences difficulty in breathing as the airway is choked. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils are the prime causes of this disorder. If a person is obese or overweight, then he is prone to this risk.

People, who are prone to this disorder, are known to sweat profusely during sleep or may snore heavily. As your sleeping patterns are disturbed you are likely to feel irritated or sleepy during the day time.


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4} Nightmares

Nightmares and teens have a close association. It is ok if it occurs once in a while, but on a regular basis, it can disrupt sleeping patterns. The main reason that triggers nightmares is emotional stress in the form of anxiety or stress. Other reasons for nightmares could be alcohol or substance abuse. Sleep deprivation can pave way for nightmares.

If nightmares are taking the better of you, it is recommended that you get in touch with a doctor or a counsellor.


Is referred to as Gastro esophageal reflux disorder. It tends to take place at night whereby you are not availing proper sleep. In this case a muscular value (connecting the gastric system to the oesophageal) does not discharge its duties properly. The acids in the stomach returns back to the esophagus. In hindsight irritation coupled with inflammation is common and is going to disturb your sleep schedule.

6} Light blues

Surprising the light cues may force teenagers to stay awake! The lights that tend to stem out from the technological devices (mobile, laptops or televisions) acts as a stumbling block for melatonin (the sleep hormone) being produced in sufficient quantities. Emotional stress coupled with light blues can also work out to be a damp squib for proper sleep.

7} Circadian sleep disorders

This is a common symptom of kids. They are more alert at night, whereby during the day time they feel sleepy. Some of the signs of this problem are

  • Difficulty in waking up during the morning hours
  • Sleeping late into the afternoon during off days

To sum it up, it is pretty hard to figure out an exact cause for sleep problems in teenagers. If the problem stretches for more than a couple of weeks, it is better to get in touch with a doctor. A counsellor would also be of immense help as they can get into the smaller details of why such disturbance occurs.

With proper habits, your sleeping patterns will be restored. Parents can contribute to this by making sure an ambient atmosphere is created for the kids to sleep. In hindsight they can supplement kids with a proper set of foods to ensure a timely sleep.

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