Skip to main content

Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Certain evolutionary needs must be met to properly nurture adolescent mental health. Sleep, for example, is essential for teenagers because it plays an integral role in physical and mental development. The absence of this universal need has serious physiological consequences. Being sleep-deprived has been shown to lead to cognitive impairments, like increased impulsivity, poor judgment, or irritability. To further understand how sleep affects teen mental health, consider the following:

  • Poor sleep appears to heighten the risk of depression: A 2019 study showed that about 1 in 3 students who slept less than six hours per night had a higher number of depression symptoms compared with about 3 in 10 students who got adequate sleep.
  • Sleep affects mood and anxiety: Nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with significant sleep abnormalities and vice versa. Research indicates that university students with the most erratic sleep schedules reported being unhappy nearly twice as often as those who had consistent and sufficient sleep.
  • Sleep plays a key role in regulating emotion: A good night’s sleep can significantly impact a teen’s stress levels and coping capacity. Emotional events during waking hours affect sleep, and the quality and amount of sleep influences the way we react to these events impacting our general well-being.
  • Sleep affects academic performance: Studies show that the amount of sleep teenagers get is directly linked to academic achievement, and those who get less sleep are more likely to get lower grades in school. 

Sleep irregularities affect 15% to 25% of children and adolescents. This can be partially attributed to the fact that the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) shifts throughout adolescence, which can lead to a variety of sleep disturbances (e.g., difficulty falling asleep, difficulty remaining asleep throughout the night, difficulty waking up in the morning, etc.). Sleep is a fundamental necessity of life, and even a minor sleep deficit can significantly impact a teenager’s physical and mental health.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


Close Menu
Back to top