Between school, hobbies and friends, many teens don’t get enough sleep. Adequate rest is essential for a teen’s health and well-being, though. In addition to a cool gel memory foam mattress and a dark, quiet room, encourage your teen to get their rest. Healthy sleep habits support your child’s success in all areas of life.
How Much Sleep does your Teen Need?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. Adequate sleep equips teens to function properly and not feel tired during the day.
Of course, a teen’s sleep-wake rhythm, also known as a biological clock or circadian rhythm, can move by as much as two hours after puberty. Also, melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep preparation, gets released later in the day. Based on these shifts, your teen may not be ready for bed until 11 p.m., but he or she still needs to get enough sleep in order to function properly during the day and not experience signs of sleep deficiency.
What are the Signs of Sleep Deficiency?
Most teens don’t recognize that they’re sleep-deprived. You can often tell, though, when you see one or more of these signs in your child.
The ability to focus, concentrate, solve problems, create, and remember are important cognitive abilities your teen needs to succeed at school, work and extracurricular activities. Lack of sleep can reduce your child’s cognitive or brain functioning ability and cause poor grades or inability to work and play safely.
Irritability, anxiety, sadness, or depression can be common in teens as their hormones and daily circumstances fluctuate. However, abnormal mood fluctuations could indicate that your teen isn’t getting adequate rest.
Teens often display impulsive, risky, erratic, or irrational behavior since they’re still developing maturity.
Feeling drowsy during the day can cause your teen to lose concentration or fall asleep in class. Your teen may also be more prone to accidents or injuries while driving or playing sports.
Relationship and Social Difficulties
It’s normal for teens to sometimes become impatient, dramatic or frustrated with friends and family members. Teens are less likely to navigate social circumstances and relationships successfully when they’re running low on sleep.
Your child is at risk of experiencing more acne, unhealed infections, or obesity if they don’t sleep enough. Adequate rest is also useful to repair tissue, grow muscles and relieve pain.
Unhealthy Dietary Choices
The foods and beverages your teen consumes can affect their physical, mental and emotional wellness. Feeling tired affects dietary choices and could cause your teen to reach for easily accessible sweets, fried foods, caffeine, and other unhealthy options.
Tips to Get Better Sleep
Protect your teens when you prompt them to get enough rest. These tips can boost sleep quantity and build strong rest habits.
Share the effects of sleep deficiency with your teen and encourage him or her to make sleep a priority. Your teen could become smarter, healthier and happier with adequate rest.
Discover your Sleep Pattern
It’s possible that your child doesn’t know details about his or her unique circadian rhythm or sleep needs. A sleep diary can reveal information that helps your teen create a better sleep routine.
Follow an Evening Routine
A pre-bedtime routine signals to your teen’s body and brain that it’s time for bed. In addition to unplugging from electronics for at least an hour before bed, your teen might want to read, meditate, shower, and remain calm.
While teens often like to stay up late or sleep in on the weekends, they should set a schedule and stick with it. Consistency syncs your child’s biological clock and promotes restful sleep.
Limit Electronic Usage
The use of electronic devices during the hour before bed can affect sleep quantity and quality. Consider creating an electronic device contract that limits screen time before bedtime and establishes a charging pad outside your teen’s bedroom.
Create a Restful Sleep Environment
Your child’s bedroom environment affects his or her quality of rest. If you reduce clutter, filter bright lights, hang blackout curtains, use a cooling mattress, and turn down the thermostat, your child may rest better.
Cope with Time Demands
Academic pressures, extracurricular activities and even employment vie for your teenager’s time. Help your child conduct a time audit and create a schedule that balances responsibilities and sleep.
Certain foods and caffeinated beverages may prevent your teen from falling asleep. Encourage your teen to eat foods that promote rest.
Evaluate Sleep Disorders
In some cases, teens may suffer from treatable conditions that affect rest. Discuss insomnia sleep apnea or other concerns with your teen’s doctor.
Start School Later
An early start to the school day means your teen loses valuable sleep time. Advocate for a later school start time that complements your child’s natural sleep circadian rhythm.
Teens who get enough sleep experience numerous health and wellness benefits. Encourage your teen to prioritize sleep and create healthy habits now. With restorative rest, your child is better equipped to succeed in all areas of life.