Recent research has found that poor sleep makes teens vulnerable to extra stress, and having better quality sleep can be a first step toward helping them handle stressful situations.

Poor Sleep Makes Teens Vulnerable to Extra StressAlmost 70% of American teens have issues with insufficient sleep, or difficulty in having good quality sleep. The consequences can lead to poor health and cognitive issues over time. A recent study has found that sleep problems or sleeping too much can make teens more susceptivle to stress, which affects their health, behavior, and academic ability.

The association between sleep and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis has been studied before, as the HPA axis is part of the neuroendocrine system controlling stress reactions and regulating many physical processes.

During puberty, sleep and the HPA axis undergo significant changes, and the results are unclear.

Reseachers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Arizona State University investigated the relationship between sleep and stress reactions in adolescents.  They examined sleep duration and sleep problems, the perspectives of teens and their parents, and cortisol levels before and after social stress.  Results were also compared for gender.

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