Teens need eight to ten hours of sleep every night to be well-rested. But recent studies show that 70 percent of high school teens are not getting the rest they need. From the constant use of technology to ever-changing sleep schedules, teen’s sleep patterns are being affected by a variety of causes. Lack of sleep can create many issues for teens, including depression, poor grades, unhealthy eating, poor decision making, and can even affect the growth of the body and brain.
So what can a busy teen do to ensure that they are well-rested?
Set a Schedule
Create a sleep schedule for yourself so you go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day—even on weekends. This will set your internal clock back to normal and make it easier to both fall asleep and stay asleep all night.
Also find a pre-bedtime routine to stick to every night. This can include having a cup of tea and reading before brushing your teeth and hitting the hay. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but your body will recognize similar actions every night and realize it’s time to start shutting down for sleep.
Don’t Take Your Phone to Bed
Leave your electronics at the door when you head to bed. Most people (teens and adults alike) use their smartphones an hour before bed and 63 percent of people aged 18 to 29 fall asleep with their phones in their hand. The light and noise of incoming messages and alerts irritates the sleep cycle and your brain will eventually associate sleep with this light.
Try and avoid using your phone or any electronic device an hour before you plan to sleep. Instead, read a book, do some yoga or meditate, or spend time with your family.
Staying active throughout the day will ensure you are using your expendable energy which will tire you out for bedtime. Eating healthy will give you more energy to burn, so if you’re eating well-balanced meals, make sure you’re getting out for some exercise every day—even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood. We lead busy lives, but it’s worth fitting in some time to be active.
From keeping up with studies, friends, technology and family, a teen’s life can be both busy and stressful. Ensuring that you get enough sleep, however, will allow you to lead a more balanced, healthy life. This way you can dedicate more of your time to doing the things you love!
Featured image Tuan Le