Sleep for teens is so important!
Have you noticed that your teenager is groggy during the day? This is possibly due to sleep deprivation. Sleep for teens is such an important topic!
I know that one time I noticed that one of my boys was just not himself for days. We talked about what I was noticing. In our conversation, he admitted that he was worried about a situation with some of his friends. We talked for only about 15 minutes on the way to his practice, and it seemed like he was frustrated by what was going on.
Fast forward a couple of days, and he seemed like a completely different kid! I casually noticed out loud to him that he seemed really “up”. He told me that after our discussion, that he had made a decision about what to do – I have no idea what it was now! – and that all of a sudden he could sleep again.
Just goes to show the power of sleep, and what a little conversation will do to help! I really had only mostly listened, and sometimes that is all our teens need:)
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The importance of sleep for teens
Between peer pressure, friends, hormones, sports, and assignments, teens have a lot on their plate. It seems like teens are naturally wired to be up all night. But you can encourage a sleep routine that works and make sure they follow through with it for better sleep. Bedtime is not “cool” for teenagers, but it is so important!
How much sleep does a teenager need?
American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers between the ages of thirteen and eighteen should get 8-10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Research shows that between 50% and 75% of all teenagers are NOT getting enough sleep on school nights.
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Carolyn from Top-Mom.com has graciously agreed to write this post about sleep for teens for me. Here are tips on how to get your teen to sleep better.
Limit electronics in the bedroom
The leading cause of poor sleep patterns for teenagers is electronics, including cell phones and social media. Light from electronics disrupts the traditional cues sent to the brain, signaling it to wind down. That’s why physically removing the device is the best option.
Your teen may not be very receptive to this idea at the beginning. In this case, start small by introducing a rule of charging all electronics in the parent’s bedroom or another isolated room. This will reduce the temptation of phone usage at night.
Sleep for teens -best tools
White noise sound machine -This is such a great thing! We live across from an elementary school, so this was awesome during nap time back in the day! My boys all took these to college for their dorm rooms to cover up sounds from the hallway!
Weighted blanket -This is the bomb! You may need to order a couple to figure out the correct weight for you, but I have never slept better than with this thing! Be sure to get the kind that cools…
Ear plugs -I don’t like these, but one of my sons swears by them. He prefers them to the sound machine. To each his own…
Sleep mask – Again, not my favorite, but my mom and one of my other boys love these. I have tried to sleep in one of these, but I turn over a lot, and the mask always stays put, as I turn -did you ever see that scene in the movie Tootsie where Dottie turns over and her wig stays put??? Hey, whatever works though, right?! Here are some pretty, and weighted sleep masks made organic flax seed and lavender -the cover comes off for washing.
Finally, does your teen complain at all about their mattress? My son did, and a friend’s daughter registered for this mattress. I asked my friend how they were liking the mattress, and she said that they had now purchased the same mattress for the other two beds in their townhouse.
Regular sleep schedule for teens
This is one of the most effective ways to help teens sleep better. Sleeping within an hour of normal sleep hours keeps the circadian rhythm in check. Sleeping later than usual during weekends and holidays make it harder to resume the routine.
Pulling an all-nighter and ‘catching up’ on sleep will not pay for all the sleep debt. Therefore, you must make sure your teen observes their sleeping hours every day, on all occasions. This will improve sleep for teens so much!
Cancel afternoon naps
Although afternoon naps may potentially provide more sleep, it may make it harder to sleep well at night. Since they break up sleep, it means poor sleep quality, hence fewer benefits.
If your teen already has this habit, work with them for a week to quit these naps moving forward. This can be done by replacing the nap time with another activity. It can be a simple walk or practicing a hobby such as painting.
Encourage teens to avoid homework procrastination
If possible, make your teen complete their homework immediately when they get home from school. Naturally, they’ll want to play games and watch some TV for a few hours before they settle for their homework. This may seem far-fetched, but doing homework immediately is easier as they’re still in the school momentum. Also, this will make sure they don’t end up staying all night trying to hit deadlines. This is another simple way to help sleep for teens.
If your teen is coming home with too much homework that’s keeping them up every day, consider talking to their teachers.
Make your teen’s bedroom conducive for sleep
A quiet and peaceful bedroom will allow your teen to sleep better. Tips such as making sure all their windows and doors are closed play a huge part in your teen’s sleep quality. Also, make sure their clock is placed behind them, so they don’t fall into the temptation of checking time all night. (This clock lights up to simulate daylight -great for deep sleepers!)
Other things you can do to make their bedroom sleep-friendly include:
Limit caffeine intake before bed
Caffeine isn’t only in coffee and energy drinks. It can be in your teen’s favorite sodas and snacks. Teach your teen to monitor their caffeine intake throughout their day. If they need a hot beverage, encourage them to fix a warm cup of green tea or any other herbal tea.
Bringing up a teenager isn’t an easy task for any parent. They get moody and angry, but it’s still your responsibility as a parent to make sure they are healthy. If you have a daughter, here is some information about sleep and a woman’s period.
Lack of enough sleep for teens is a common challenge. Using the above tips, you’ll be able to help your teenager have a healthy sleep routine.
If you have any additional tips, share in the comment section, and don’t forget to share this article with other moms.
Carolyn is a former nurse who turned to a blogger. Now she uses her time in educating people on tips of living a healthy lifestyle through her blog – Top-Mom.com. She also offers coaching classes on matters of mental health, fitness, and nutrition.
A little plug for her… Kids grow really fast, and before you realize, they are no longer the adorable little angels you knew. That’s why getting a memory book on top-mom.com to capture the good memories and changes, is a great idea!
Help Your Teen Prepare For Finals -or any other stressful situation!
Here is a link to my YouTube video all about homework and procrastination, as mentioned above!
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