During the teenage years, sleep is more important than ever. This is a time when a lot of physical changes are taking place, which means that kids do best when their bodies are well-rested.
Getting Enough Sleep
According to studies, teens are more alert and focused when they sleep for approximately 9 hours each night. With how busy life is for most teenagers, however, it is sometimes challenging for them to get enough sleep. Between extracurricular activities, homework, and socializing with their friends, trying to find enough time for sleep isn’t always easy. Sadly, that means that the majority of teens aren’t getting enough sleep. Even though they may sleep in on the weekends to try to make up for the sleep they missed during the week, this can wind up making things worse by interfering with their body’s internal clock. The best option is for teenagers to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on the weekends. Ideally, their schedule shouldn’t change by over an hour either way, no matter what day of the week it is.
Daytime Napping Tips
Napping can help teens feel refreshed. The key is to avoid taking long naps. Instead, they should try to take naps that are shorter than 20 to 30 minutes. They should also avoid napping too late in the day. Taking a nap later in the day can make it harder to drift off to sleep at night.
Getting Better Sleep With Exercise
Exercising regularly can lead to better sleep. Teens can get the best results by working out for a minimum of 30 minutes at least four days each week. To avoid any sleep disruptions, they should exercise early in the day rather than directly before bed.
Avoiding Caffeine In The Afternoon And Evening
Caffeine consumption can make it a lot harder to fall asleep. To avoid any problems, teens should steer clear of any foods or beverages that contain caffeine after lunchtime. Along with coffee, that means avoiding caffeine-laden soda, chocolate, and energy drinks.
Avoiding Going To Bed With An Empty Stomach
Most teenagers have trouble falling asleep if they are too hungry. Snacking before bed can be a good option as long as they eat the right foods. A little bit of cereal, a handful of crackers, some fresh fruit, or a glass of milk are all great options. Any heavy foods or large meals should be eaten at least two hours before bed. Diet can play a key role in your teenager’s ability to sleep and can also affect their health. Ideally, their diet should be made up of whole grains, lean meat, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. They should eat breakfast every day and should avoid junk food and other unhealthy choices.
Skipping Alcohol And Nicotine
Ideally, smoking and drinking should be avoided altogether by teenagers. Teens who do smoke, however, should avoid smoking for at least an hour before bed. Drinking alcohol before bed is also a bad idea. Even though it increases drowsiness, it can interfere with their ability to stay asleep all night. Teenagers may need to seek medical help if they drink alcohol regularly or if they are addicted to nicotine.
Spending Time Relaxing Before Bed
Ideally, teenagers should have at least an hour of downtime before going to bed. During this time, they should stick with relaxing activities like reading or listening to soft music. Any electronic devices like TVs, computers, or smartphones should be set aside during this time. Strenuous activities like exercising should also be avoided. Ideally, these relaxing activities should be done in another part of the house rather than in bed. Teens should only use their bed for sleeping so that it forms a positive association in their mind.
Creating A Soothing Bedroom Environment
Teenagers sleep best when they are surrounded by comfortable space. The room itself should be dark and there shouldn’t be a lot of extra noise. The bed should be comfortable, take a look at these mattress direct reviews and consider investing in a new mattress. Keeping the room clean can make it feel more relaxing. Any stressful activities should be done in another room. That way, your teenager won’t associate their bedroom with stress.
Getting Up At The Same Time Each Day
Teenagers should go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including on the weekends. Sticking with a routine like this helps the body get into the habit of falling asleep at a specific time. In essence, it is like programming their internal body clock. Once they get in the habit of going to sleep at a specific time, they will naturally feel tired when that time rolls around. Sleeping in on the weekends can interfere with their internal clock, making them feel groggy for days afterward. The effect is similar to jetlag.