The stress levels of teens skyrocket

Today, the stress levels of teens are extraordinarily high. Between school work and home life, the stress levels of teens are beginning to surpass those of adults. Today, most teens are feeling a growth in pressure and strain that is equal to or transcending those of parents and adults. Extreme stress levels have been noted to be connected to everyday lifestyle choices such as stress and sleep, stress and exercise, along with stress and eating.

The spike in recent stress levels are due to many reasons, but a main culprit is stress and the connection to sleep. Teens are adapting adult stress habits and are exhibiting more anxiety and more worry in their everyday lives than ever before. In a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, APA, in 2013, showed that teens reported that their stress levels exceeds what is believed to be healthy. Scientists believe that teens have adapted these healthy habits from adults who reported their peak stress levels are lower than teens. However, this connection to adult habits has led teen to adapt poor sleep habits. A large point is this connection between stress and sleep.

Sleep is pivotal in everyday human functions, along with recharging one’s body and allowing for excellent rest. Sleep is crucial and studies have shown light sleep deprivation can affect simple functions. The APA has reported that, “The adults do not get enough sleep, 21 percent reported feeling more stressed. On average, teens reported sleeping far less than the recommended amount… recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Nearly one in five teens (18 percent) said that when they do not get enough sleep, they are more stressed and 36 percent of teens reported feeling tired because of stress in the past month.” By simply getting more sleep, it is proven that Americans would be happier and healthier. Stress interfering with Americans’ sleep, is keeping many adults and teens from getting the rest they need to be healthy.

There is also a connection between stress and exercise. When it comes to proper heath, exercise matters. Only seventeen percent of adults reported exercising daily. Many Americans are struggling with obesity and in turn, connects back to low exercise levels, “Survey findings show that Americans spend much of their time engaged in sedentary activities — often more than three hours a day watching TV or going online.

Stress levels have been proven to decline with the addition of physical activity in ones everyday life. With the addition of walking or riding a bike to school, work, or other functions, stress levels decrease, and in surveyed cases, over forty-three percent of subjects admitted lowered stress levels. The addition of exercise to everyday life can help improve stress, and, allow teens to remove adult-like sedentary habits.

In addition, eating has become a large factor in stress. As previously mentioned, the majority of adults suffer from obesity and diabetes. This is likely because of stress. When stress levels are high, the human body craves high fat foods, but yet consumes more fat than it burns. Stress can influence unhealthy eating habits, “People tend to seek high-calorie, high-fat foods during periods of stress, though in fact, when people are stressed, their bodies store more fat than when they are relaxed. While many factors contribute to the nation’s weight challenges, the Stress in America™ survey suggests that stress influences our eating habits.” In a study conducted over months, over twenty-six percent of teens say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods because of stress. More than half of these teens engage in these behaviors weekly or more. Managing stress levels allows for a healthier human body and a clean and lean lifestyle. By eating a balanced diet with healthful foods, the impact on how stress affects the human body can improve. 

It is crucial to exercise healthy habits and a clean lifestyle to reduce stress and improve everyday functions. Teens can focus on breaking adult induced habits and aspire for a better lifestyle. Stress and sleep can be connected, but, if more Americans received more and better sleep, can be eliminated. Stress and the connection with exercise allows for, once again, low stress levels. Finally, the connection between stress and eating allows for elevated stress, but with healthy choices can be fixed. Overall, teen stress levels are on the rise and with unhealthy adult habits, teen stress has become even harder to break than ever before. With dedication and balanced information on stress and stress management, teens will be able to reduce stress levels and exhibit healthy habits.