How much sleep should a teenager get?

Last updated on August 28, 2020


How much sleep should a teenager get? I’ve been getting 8-7 hours, is that enough? What happens if I don’t get enough rest?


You are getting enough sleep if you wake up feeling refreshed and rested. A good sign of getting enough sleep is that you tend to wake up just before the alarm clock goes off, or that you wake up about the same time on weekends when you don’t have to get up. You are probably not getting enough sleep if you “crash” on the weekends and sleep 10, 12 or more hours.

Everyone has different sleep needs. One way to find out what you need is to have a couple of weeks where you don’t have to get up at any particular time. Turn off the phone, the alarm clock, etc. and just see who long you sleep before you wake up on your own. Don’t count the first several days as you might be making up for the lost time.

The amount of sleep you need won’t always be fixed. You’ll need more sleep when you are ill, or when you been working really hard. During a teenager’s growth spurt, you will find he needs about 30 to 60 minutes more sleep per day.

Sleep is the time for your body to repair itself and for your mind to organize the events of the day so you can retrieve them. A lack of sleep means your body’s defenses against diseases will be reduced. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to be irritable, moody, and forgetful. Push it and they start to zone out and have a lack of response to events. The person is actually taking very short “micro-naps” as the body desperately tries to make up for the sleep it needs. Beyond that stage, the person starts seeing things that are not really there.