Teen Sexual Health and Sleep
Teen sexual health and sleep are interconnected. There is bad news for teens who don’t get enough sleep. We all know that getting adequate sleep is very important for overall health and well-being. Sleep gives us energy, fuels our brains, helps us heal, and it also keeps our hormones balanced.
There is a new study from the American Psychological Association that found that teens who do not get enough sleep have a greater risk of engaging in dangerous or risky sexual behaviors. Adequate sleep for a teen is 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
We all know that not getting enough sleep causes impaired judgment. Lack of sleep also extends to teens making bad choices when it comes to sexual behavior. A couple of examples of risky sexual behavior is not using condoms or having sex when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Teens are not getting enough sleep for many reasons. Teens spend too much time on social media and they get up very early for school. Other causes of sleep deprivation are staying up too late doing homework, sports, and busy social calendars. The average amount of sleep a teen gets is about 7 hours which is not healthy. Due to teens being overly tired, their ability to make good decisions is also compromised. When they are too tired, they tend to make risky, impulsive decisions and they are at risk for unsafe sexual practices.
The report showed that teens who did not get enough sleep were twice as likely to have unsafe sex as those teens who slept 8-10 hours. Teens that are sleep deprived also have a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and HPV.
Teen Sexual Health and sleep is a very serious subject that needs immediate parental attention. It is important that parents understand this link between sex and sleep. Parents need to make sure their teens are getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Getting to bed at an appropriate time and turning off the electronics is key to safe teen sexual health.