How to sleep well if you’re a teenager
Being a teenager can be hard work. As well as facing challenges in school and trying to establish an identity, there are a lot of changes that happen to the body during teen years. All of this can impact sleep, and teenage sleep problems aren’t uncommon.
TEMPUR takes a look at ways to help teenage sleep patterns, or how to be a supportive parent of teens who struggle to get a good night’s sleep…
Why teenagers might be tired all the time
After puberty, teenagers experience a shift in their internal clock, meaning that they go to bed later and wake up later. However, because school usually starts at around 9am, this doesn’t fit with a teenager’s new body clock – leading to tiredness and difficulty waking up!
Common teenage sleep problems
Schoolwork, exam revision, socialising and late-night activities such as video games or sport can make for one tired teenager. As a result, teenagers may become sleep-deprived which can lead to a multitude of issues:
- Getting out of bed – due to going to bed later, many teens struggle to get out of bed in the morning. This means they can miss classes, or skip breakfast in order to get to school on time
- Grades drop –due to increased fatigue, teens are sometimes unable to complete their schoolwork to the best of their ability
- Mood swings – not enough sleep leads to irritable, snappy teenagers, slammed doors and arguments – some teens may seem completely different to their pre-puberty selves!
- Sleep disorders – sometimes teens’ sleep problems can become more serious and lead to disorders such as insomnia, or sleep apnoea. If you are worried about your sleep, see a GP for advice.
Tips on how to get a better night’s sleep
Many teenagers spend hours in front of their mobile, computer, or TV late at night. The light these screens omit can prevent sleep, meaning a grumpy teenager the next morning. Teenagers should be encouraged to turn off their screens at least half an hour before going to bed, and instead listen to music or read a book.
Some teenagers don’t exercise enough – even though exercise has been proven to improve sleep, as well as overall health! Encourage your teenager to go for a walk or a run, or join a school sports team.
After a week of late nights and early starts, it’s common for teens to try to ‘catch up’ on sleep at the weekend. This is not a healthy sleeping pattern and is hard to maintain. Try to implement a regular sleep schedule and encourage your teen to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. They should be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
Do you have trouble sleeping as a teen, or are you the parent of a sleep-deprived teen? Do you have any tips for teens struggling with sleep problems? Let us know in the comments below…