Teens need at least 9 hours of sleep each night. Because of the many physical, emotional, social, and psychological changes they are going through, they need the rest. Yet, if your teen is having trouble sleeping, then you may need to support them in getting a good night’s rest. Here are 8 teen sleeping tips from Harvard Medical School on how to help teens get the amount of sleep they need:
Teen Sleeping Tips
- Exercise – When our bodies are physically tired, it’s more likely to fall right into sleep when it comes to bedtime. Exercise is a great way to keep the active mind at bay, which can get in the way of trying to fall asleep. Encourage your teen to exercise so that they will create enough fatigue to fall asleep.
- Reserve Bed for Sleep – If your teen has a lot of anxiety about trying to get some good sleep and they keep thinking about sleeping which is getting in the way of sleep, then do your best to help neutralize the anxiety. Help your teen create a strong connection between the bed and sleeping. Encourage your teen not to do anything else in the bed but sleep. And if they are not sleeping, then get up until you’re tired again. Making that association can help remove the anxiety and facilitate falling asleep faster.
- Keep It Comfortable – Help your teen create a comfortable sleeping environment. Make sure your teen’s bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Usually a room that is quiet, dark, and cool can facilitate falling asleep.
- Start A Sleep Ritual – Sometimes an evening ritual can help send a message to your teen that it’s time to wind down. For instance, perhaps you and your teen have a cup of tea, read awhile, and then talk about the day before going to bed. In childhood, often there is a routine such as having your mother read a story and then tuck you into bed. A similar, age-appropriate routine could be created for your teen as well.
- Eat—But Don’t Eat a Large Meal Before Bed – When you’re hungry and when you’ve eaten too much, your body might be unable to sleep. Both situations can be distractions. Ideally, encourage your teen to avoid eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime. And to avoid being hungry at bedtime, have your teen eat a light snack about an hour or two before bed, such as an apple with a slice of cheese or a few whole-wheat crackers.
- Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine – Each of these drugs should be avoided before bedtime in order to facilitate getting a full night’s sleep. Encourage your teen to stay away from alcohol and caffeine, especially if they are having a hard time sleeping.
- De-stress – Many teens have full lives. When your teen’s responsibilities build up, it can get in the way of sleeping well. Encourage your teen to take time to relax with meditation, yoga, soft music, or deep breathing exercises before bed.
- Get Checked By Your Doctor – If your teen is experiencing insomnia, take them to the doctor. Your teen’s doctor will likely have them complete a questionnaire, perform blood tests, have them do an overnight sleep study, and have them fill out a sleep log to help assess their symptoms. Chronic insomnia may require the assessment and treatment of a medical doctor.
These are teen sleeping tips to help your child get the right amount of sleep for their physical and mental health.