14 Sleep tips for teenagers

14 Sleep tips for teenagers

Teenagers require more than eight hours of sleep every night. In addition, teens who get less than 8 hours of sleep have higher levels of stress hormones and lower growth hormones. The latter helps develop muscles and bones.

Teenagers today face several challenges. They are constantly connected through social media, spend hours playing video games, and often lack sleep. How should parents handle these issues?

Teens face several health risks such as obesity, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse due to inadequate sleep. With continued sleep deprivation, they are at risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.

To ensure their wellbeing, parents must provide them with good sleep habits. It means being consistent with bedtime routines, limiting screen time before bed, and avoiding unhealthy foods or drinks after dinner.

This blog post will discuss some important sleep tips for teenagers that help them with adequate and sound sleep (How to sleep alone).

Be Consistent with Bedtime Routine

Teenagers need a regular schedule to help them get the best sleep possible. A healthy routine includes going to bed early enough, but not too late. 

It is recommended that teens go to bed by 9:30 pm. If you have children still in high school, they can be expected to go to bed around 8:00 pm or earlier.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Teens need to limit their use of screens before bedtime. Screens emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin helps regulate your body's circadian rhythm. Without sufficient levels of melatonin, it is difficult to fall asleep.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Avoid Unhealthy Foods After Dinner

After dinner, many teenagers eat snacks like chips, cookies, candy bars, etc. These items contain ingredients that promote weight gain and increase appetite. 

Eating these foods right before bed may cause hunger pangs during the night. In addition, eating these foods right before bed makes it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, choose healthier options like fruits, nuts, yoghurt, milk, and water.

Get Enough Sleep Each Night

Adequate sleep is essential for teenagers to perform well academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. 

The amount of sleep required varies from person to person. 7-8 hours of sleep each night is considered optimal for most people. However, if someone needs more than 8 hours of sleep per day, then they can go ahead and get more.

Create a Healthy Environment

A teenager's bedroom (bedroom temperature) is an important place where they sleep. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that his room is conducive to sleep. 

Make sure there is no noise coming from outside. Turn off all electronic devices, including computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc., so that the room is free of distractions. Also, avoid using bright lights in the room.

Practice Good Sleeping Habits

Practising good sleeping habits ensures that one gets better quality sleep. To begin with, try to create a relaxing environment. 

Keep the room dark, turn off any noisy appliances, and keep the temperature comfortable. Choose a soft mattress and pillow. 

Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Lastly, avoid exercising right before bedtime. Exercise should be done in the morning when the brain is alert and ready to learn.

Practice Good Sleeping Habits

Consider Using a Mattress Pad

If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, consider getting a memory foam mattress pad. Memory foam mattresses absorb heat and retain warmth throughout the night. 

As a result, the mattress becomes warm and comfy. It also creates a barrier between the sleeper and the cold floor. It prevents sweating and promotes deep sleep.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural scents that smell great. They are used as aromatherapy treatments because of their ability to relax the mind and body. 

Some essential oils include lavender, chamomile, lemon, orange, rosemary, and jasmine. Add some drops of essential oil to bathwater to enhance relaxation. You can also add essential oils to your diffuser or humidifier to get their calming effects

Relax Before Bedtime

Stress causes insomnia. The last thing you want to do before going to sleep is worry about schoolwork. If you feel stressed out, take a walk around the block, listen to music, read a book, meditate, pray, or reflect on something positive.

Avoid Caffeine

Coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, and energy drinks contain caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns. If you must drink coffee, limit yourself to 2 cups per day.

Encourage physical activities

Limiting physical activities will not only make your child feel lethargic, but you make you gain weight. It also hampers your sleeping patterns. 

If they are tired after being engrossed with some mental and physical activities during the day, your kids are likely to asleep fast. On the other hand, if they are engaged online in playing video games and social media, they might find it difficult to fall asleep.

Control eating before bedtime

Eating just before bedtime may make your child uncomfortable while sleeping. They may feel hungry and restless. Furthermore, this habit could lead to overeating and weight gain. To prevent these problems, restrict food intake at least two hours before bedtime.

Set a Sleep Schedule

A schedule helps your children understand what time they have to go to bed and wake up in the morning. It will help them get into a routine. The best way to set a sleep schedule is by using an alarm clock.

Anxiety and worries

There might be some emotional event at school that disturbs your child and disrupts their sleep. Keep the communication open with your child, and always spend at least 20 minutes a day with them to discuss their daily activities. It will help you to keep track of their daily activities.

Anxiety and worries

Why Should kids have a regular bedtime?

Your kid needs to know when to go to bed and wake up. A good sleep schedule keeps your child healthy and happy. Here are some reasons why having a regular bedtime is beneficial:

Healthy sleep habits

Kids who follow a consistent sleep schedule have a better chance of maintaining good health. Children who don't sleep well often experience mood swings, headaches, and poor concentration.

Better academic performance

Having a regular sleep schedule improves your child's focus and memory. This way, they have more time to study and learn new things.

Improved behaviour

Children who have a regular sleep schedule display fewer behavioural issues than those who stay up late and sleep through the night.

Healthier body

Children who sleep well tend to eat healthier foods and perform better physically.

More peaceful mind

Children who have a regular sleep pattern are less prone to anxiety and stress.

Less risk of obesity

Studies show that children who sleep longer have lower levels of leptin, which is associated with lower appetite.

Stronger immune system

The body produces hormones called cytokines when we sleep. Cytokines work as messengers between cells. 

These messengers regulate how our bodies respond to outside stimuli. When we sleep, our immune systems produce fewer cytokines. So, sleeping well leads to strong immunity.

Increased energy

When we sleep, our body replenishes its supply of glucose (blood sugar). During the day, we use glucose to fuel our brains and muscles. 

When we do not sleep enough, our body doesn't receive enough glucose. As a result, our brains become sluggish, and our memories deteriorate.

Longer life span

People who regularly sleep for eight or nine hours a night live longer than people who only sleep five hours per night.

Happy relationships

When parents and children establish a regular bedtime, it creates a positive relationship.

Increased creativity

Sleep allows our brains to process information and make connections. In other words, it enables us to think creatively

Improved self-esteem

Children who sleep well develop self-confidence and self-worth because they feel rested and energized. They also find it easier to concentrate during class.

Lower risk of depression

A lack of sleep causes changes in certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals play a role in regulating emotions, including anxiety, anger, and sadness.

Higher productivity

Getting adequate sleep helps us reach our goals. A lack of sleep makes us tired and unfocused. We end up doing poorly on tests, missing deadlines and falling behind on tasks.

Reduced stress

Stress affects every aspect of our lives. Sleep plays an important part in managing stress. If you're stressed out, try getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. You'll be able to deal with stress much better.

How can I encourage my teenage kid to go to bed earlier without nagging?

Here are some of the tips to encourage your kid to go to bed earlier without nagging:

Make it fun!

Teach them about the benefits of sleeping early. Let them know that going to bed early will help them improve their health, get more done at school, and enjoy being happier.

Set a good example

If your teenager wants to follow your lead, let them see what happens early when you go to bed. It's best if your child sees you go to bed before midnight.

Create a healthy environment

Don’t keep electronics near your bedroom. Turn off all screens 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. Also, don’t watch TV or play video games right after dinner.

Be consistent

Make sure your teen knows that going to bed early is a priority. Tell them that you want them to have a good night's rest, so they are ready to start their next day.

go to bed earlier

Frequently Asked Questions  

Does eating dinner at home help teenagers fall asleep faster?

Yes, but it is unnecessary as long as they go to bed maximum by 10 p.m. 

Do teenagers need to drink milk or juice after dinner?

No, drinking milk or juice after dinner is not recommended.

Are there any foods that can cause nightmares?

Some foods may trigger nightmares. If possible, avoid these foods: chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, meat, and fried food.

Should a teenager have a bedtime?

Yes, the teenager must have a bedtime. You cannot develop this habit overnight or on some days. It would help if you created a bedtime habit from an early age so that your biological clock is also accustomed to it.

Why do teenagers go to bed late?

The release of melatonin - a hormone that induces sleep is deferred in teenagers than in adults and kids. It leads to the shift of the internal clock of the teens to later bedtime. Also, the early school and tight schedules left them with lesser time to sleep. 

They may be addicted to social media or video games that keep their brain anxious and do not let them sleep on time. 

There may be various reasons why your teenage child goes to bed late. You need to figure out the right motivation to avoid sleep deprivation in your child. 

What is the normal time for a teenager to go to bed?

The normal time for teenagers to go to bed is around 9:PM if they have school timing by 8:30. They need to wake up by 7 AM to get ready for school and have breakfast reasonably.

Conclusion

Teenagers require more sleep than adults. The ideal amount of sleep for a teenager is between eight and ten hours per night. It helps them stay alert, perform better academically, and feel less stressed. 

Sleep deprivation contributes to many health issues, including anxiety, depression, obesity, etc. If your child is suffering from a sleeping disorder, you may notice changes in their behaviour and dropped academic performance. 

It is important to allocate the right reason for any sleep deprivation to take the appropriate preventive measures.

You can consult the doctor if the symptom of sleep deprivation persists longer. Sleep deprivation is an important aspect that needs immediate attention to avoid severe mental or physical consequences on your child. 


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