10 Sleep Tips for Teenagers

Last Updated on September 28, 2021

The teenage years of every person are a formative period when you transition from childhood to adulthood. That’s when the brain and body experience significant development, transitions, changes that affect emotions, family life, and academic achievements.

Sleep is essential during this time for your child’s development. Unfortunately, research indicates that many teens are getting less sleep than recommended. A child between the age of 12-18 should sleep for about 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night.

Teens who get enough sleep can improve their physical health, emotional well-being, and school performance. However, they face numerous challenges to getting consistent, restorative sleep. Recognizing those challenges can help your child and you as a parent to make a plan for quality sleep. That’s why in today’s article, we’ll discuss the best sleep tips for teenagers and how can they improve rest. 

10 Sleep Tips for Teenagers

Sleep Tips for Teenagers

It’s important for people of all ages to get a good night’s sleep. Quality sleep for teens is needed to have a profound mental, physical, social, and emotional development. Here are some tips and advice that can be useful for you and your growing child:

1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule

Keeping a sleep schedule within an hour difference every day helps keep your teen’s circadian rhythm in check. In addition, a consistent bedtime routine will help your child’s body and mind know that it’s time to settle down and prepare for rest.

2. Limit screen time

Light from a screen at night can be disruptive to sleep, so leave your computer, phone, or TV either outside of your bedroom or avoid using them at least an hour before bed. If your teen hangs out on social media late at night, they are more likely to stay up. We understand that we live in an age that is surrounded by electronics, but you can still encourage your teenager to have some screen-free time before going to sleep.

3. Exercise for better sleep

It is recommended that you frequently exercise to improve your general health as well as sleep. Teenagers should try to do at least 60 minutes’ exercise every day, including aerobic activities such as running. In addition, exercising in daylight will help encourage healthy sleep patterns. However, make sure you avoid vigorous activity within 2 hours of sleep because strenuous exercise can be a stimulant, meaning your teen may feel wound-up and find it harder to fall asleep.

4. Avoid caffeine and sugar

The effects of caffeine can adversely impact sleep time, efficiency, and satisfaction. On the other hand, it is an effective way to improve concentration, alertness and energy. But if you consume high amounts of caffeine daily, the effects can be short.

Overall, we highly advise you to limit your child’s caffeine intake, which may include drinks like coffee, energy drinks and other sweer beverages. These drinks act as a stimulant and shouldn’t be consumed at least two hours before bed.

5. Have a healthy diet

It’s no secret that nutrition and sleep are essential to our health, but the relationship between them is often overlooked. A balanced diet consisting of a variety of vegetables and fruits can provide the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals that can contribute to better sleep while promoting a healthy weight.

Sleep advice for Teenagers

6. Create a suitable bedroom environment

Ensure that your teen has a comfortable, dark and quiet room to rest in that makes them feel relaxed. It could be worth buying thicker curtains or a blind to help block out early summer mornings and light nights. If you live in a noisy neighbourhood, you can also purchase a white noise machine or earplugs to cancel out unwanted noise. Check our guide for ‘The best bedroom environment’ for more information on the subject. 

7. Discourage afternoon naps

Even though they may provide more sleep short term, taking a nap can make it harder to fall asleep at night. It also means fewer benefits and lower quality of sleep because they break up your rest. Try to stop taking naps for a week and see how you feel. Generally speaking, children after the age of five shouldn’t take longer naps than 20 minutes. 

8. Try melatonin

Teens have higher production of melatonin (sleep hormone) in the late evening than adults. It is not unusual for teens to remain awake until either 11 or midnight due to that reason. Natural melatonin supplements can be bought over-the-counter and help the body get back in rhythm with its internal clock.

The supplements should be taken an hour or more before bedtime. There isn’t much research showing that using this to sleep could result in long-term harm but keep in mind that it can make you groggy.

9. Speak with a doctor

Sleep trouble may be caused by an underlying medical issue, such as depression, insomnia or sleep apnea. If a teen has trouble sleeping or wakes up multiple times in the night, even with good sleep hygiene, talk to a sleep specialist. They can help you with advice or medication if needed.

10. Relax before bed

Relaxation is crucial before bedtime in order for kids to fall asleep more easily. If your children are energized and stimulated, you might find it hard to put them in bed. You can calm them with a nice story, gentle music or practising breathing for relaxation. Consider a white noise machine and maybe even a calming scent, like lavender essential oils.

Bottom line

Sleeping difficulties can occur due to physical, mental and social changes in a teenager’s life. Teenagers can find it difficult to relax at night because of all the pressures that arise, such as homework, exams, friends, and social activities.

In addition to this, their natural sleeping cycle (also known as circadian rhythm) may be out of balance, which makes it harder for them to fall to sleep and stay that way at night while waking up early in the morning.

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ’10 Sleep Tips for Teenagers’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. Also, if you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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