Getting enough sleep is more important than many of us even realize. Most teens actually need 8 ½ to 9 hours of sleep. That is quite a bit of sleep, and is probably more than you are usually getting due to your school, work, and sports schedules.

You might actually be surprised with all the ways sleep helps you:

Good Skin –You don't want to spend extra time stressing about your skin, nor do you want to wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to any new surprises. Well, if clear skin is important to you than sleep should be a priority. Your skin restores itself while you are sleeping. A lack of sleep is stressful for your body and more stress leads to more break outs. As an added bonus, establishing life long sleep habits now will lead to fewer wrinkles down the road.

Digestive Health – Good sleep will help your body process things better. Getting good sleep will give your body a chance to get into a regular rhythm so that things continue to keep moving. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body can send up red flags such as heartburn, stomach ulcers and constipation. We know no one wants to deal with those problems!

Improved Mood – A lack of sleep can increase problems with depression and anxiety. Our minds are not allowed to reset or rejuvenate if we do not allow for enough sleep. For many teens, this creates a perpetual cycle, less sleep = more depressed and anxious feelings. Get more sleep, you may find that you feel happier and less stressed.

Boost your creativity and memorization skills – While your body sleeps, your brain consolidates the memories of what it has learned that day. If you learn something and then sleep on it, you might just do better on that test. Try reviewing test information before bedtime a couple nights in a row prior to your test. After a good night's rest, you should be ready to go. Because your mind keeps working while you sleep, you might come up with a great idea or new solution to something. Keep a pen and paper by your bed so you can quickly jot the ideas down when you wake up.

Increase your responses and hand eye coordination - This benefit applies how you do on your sports team, at your job, and even in your driving skills. Studies show that many auto accidents, injuries, and traffic deaths in the U.S. are caused by drivers who are simply tired. Get more sleep…and besides winning more games, you may save lives.

Productivity – It is hard to be productive when you are feeling tired. It is hard to stay focused on your homework, your teacher's presentations, and even hobbies that you normally enjoy doing. Your mind may start wandering, and you are unable to concentrate on the task in front of you.