Try These Helpful Sleep Tips For Your Teenager
Between puberty and (approximately) 22 years of age, adolescents need around 9 hours of sleep each night. If only they got those 9 hours.
According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, only 8% of teenagers get enough sleep. The rest of the teenage population endures chronic sleep deprivation of various levels. In fact, 59% of teens are said to live with severe sleep deprivation, sleeping less than six hours on most school nights. Nowadays, many teens even spend more time on media than they do sleeping.
You already know that sleep is essential to a growing child, but perhaps you’re unsure how to help your teen get more sleep. Here’s what you can do as a parent to help your kid establish a healthy sleeping routine.
Understand that you can influence your teen’s sleeping patterns
As the parent, you absolutely have influence over your teen’s time. According to Dr. Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry at Brown University and director of chronobiology and sleep research at Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, “There’s pretty good evidence that parental help with limit-setting around bedtimes and study times and media is helpful.”
Simply put, your influence and the expectations you set truly do help your children make better time management choices. The key is to provide guidelines for routines and offer suggestions, and then step back. Allow your teen to experience the consequences of their actions — you might even suggest they keep track of how they feel when they follow a solid sleep routine versus when they don’t.
Tips for helping your teenager get enough sleep each night
Reduce caffeine consumption. Too much caffeine can negatively impact sleeping patterns, and you might not even know how much your teenager is consuming each day.
Collect screens at night. This move won’t be popular — your teen won’t like giving up their phone and tablet at night. However, setting a house rule that all screens get put away before bed sets a great example. (Yes, your screens get put away, too.) Alternatively, make a “screens off one hour before bed” rule.
Emphasize time management. Talk to your teen about time management to help them understand that they can’t do it all. You may even want to sit down and outline everything they do each night after school and how long each task, like homework, takes. From there help them create a routine.
Make your morning routine as quick and easy as possible. Set out clothes the night before, shower in the evenings, prep breakfast, make sure lunch is packed… Essentially, whatever it takes to allow your teen to sleep in as late as possible before school.
Ask how you can help. Check in with your teenager occasionally and ask, “How can I help?” Don’t nag, but make it clear that you’re willing to help them get more sleep.
And remember, if you lead by example and emphasize the importance of healthy, quality sleep in your own life, it will be easier for your teenager to follow in your footsteps.