Is sleep the key to teen exam success?

exam stress

With examination season in full swing, we can’t underplay the importance of a good night’s rest

 

By now it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to hear that sleep is important to your overall health. By giving yourself a decent night’s rest, you allow body functions and brain activities to take place that are vital for restoration and recuperation.

But although we all know that sleep is important, we are all guilty of not giving ourselves the rest we need from time to time. Teens, in particular, are known to stay up unnecessarily late only to have to drag themselves out of bed the next morning.

You might think this is just a natural part of being a teenager, but in truth the chronic sleeplessness many teens put themselves through can lead to serious consequences. A teen who hasn’t slept is a teen who is less capable of concentrating through the course of the day. And with exam season underway, now is the time to tackle this problem head on.

Sleep and teens, in figures

For teens, like any age group, sleep is a vital component of one’s overall wellbeing. It’s as important as the water you drink and the food you eat, helping to keep you energised and manage your stress.

  • The biological sleep pattern shifts as you move from childhood to teenage years, meaning it’s natural to fall asleep later in the day. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily correspond with school schedules, meaning many teenagers go sleep deprived for days at a time.
  • Teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a night to function best. On average, only 15% of teens sleep for 8.5 hours or more on a school night.
  • Teenage sleep patterns are among the most irregular, with most teens taking advantage of the weekend to stay up late and sleep in late.
  • Teens are particularly susceptible to treatable sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome.

Sleep, focus and exam success

Being sleep deprived can affect every aspect of a teenager’s life, from their physical appearance to their emotional wellbeing. Lack of sleep can cause more frequent breakouts and acne cases in teenage skin, which in turn can increase levels of stress and anxiety.

Not only that, but sleep can have a direct impact on a teenager’s ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. It can even lower a teen’s ability to retain information that they’ve already learned, making them more forgetful. It is particularly important to consider these factors during exam season, when stress levels are high and expectations for focus, memory and work ethic are even higher.

Research has found that, when trying to teach people new skills or information, those who enjoy higher sleep quality are far better at retaining the knowledge. For teens currently revising, a good night’s sleep could mean the difference between a perfect and a passable score.

There are plenty of ways to improve sleep quality, most of which revolve around training the body to stick to a certain schedule – going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day. Encouraging your teens to avoid smartphone and laptop screens for at least an hour before bed might sound impossible, but it can significantly improve their chances of falling asleep at a reasonable time.

If your teen is suffering from poor sleep quality, the root of the problem could lie in their mattress. Mammoth mattresses are proven to improve sleep length and quality, giving your teens the great start to the day they need to succeed. Test drive a Mammoth today by finding your nearest retailer.