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Forty winks, part III

Welcome to part III of our four-part blog special. Last week and this week, we’ve been having forty winks – in the form of forty sleep tips for better sleep. In part II we looked at sleep tips for adults and, here in part III we’ve got ten tips to improve sleep for tricky sleep customers – teenagers.

Ten sleep tips for teenagers

From the outside looking in, a teenager’s world can seem slovenly but in reality there’s an awful lot going on inside. An immense number of changes happen in our teenage years to help us grow mentally and physically in preparation for adulthood; sleep is vitally important to enable this growth.

  1. Screening. We may as well begin with the most debated topic: screen time. Ultimately you know your teen, if you think excessive screen time during the day and especially during evening hours are interfering with your teen’s sleep habits, talk to them about making some adjustments to their routines and why.
  2. Dwindling activities. It’s no news that teenage years can see a sharp drop off for hobbies, activities and participation in sport. Do what you can to encourage your teen to continue positive exercise routines (even if it means driving them to clubs!) as these will benefit their sleep too.
  3. Timing is everything. Amongst many changes puberty brings is a shift in a teenager’s circadian rhythm. Scientists are only at the beginning of understanding how and why our rhythms behave as they do, but your teen’s changing sleep timings aren’t necessarily brought on by social changes so make adjustments where you can.
  4. Routine. Your teen will no doubt have out their own stamp on their bedtime by now but, whatever bedtime looks like to them, still try and encourage them to incorporate relaxing activities and to do the same things at roughly the same times to prepare them for sleep.
  5. Stay awake juice. Be mindful that your teen may be upping their caffeine consumption as they sharpen their taste for teas, coffees and energy drinks. Caffeine stays in the system for up to 10 hours so a couple of after school energy drinks will be enough to keep your teen wired all night! Educate them about the effects of caffeine on their body.
  6. Don’t underestimate. Don’t assume your teen’s changing social patterns and timings reflect a much-reduced need for sleep – teenagers need nine hours sleep per night on average.
  7. Sleep friendly bedroom. Always cover the bedrooms basics – in order to sleep well, our bedrooms at nighttime should be temperate, free of distraction, and free of noise and light disturbances.
  8. Attention seeking. Ever feel like your teen’s trying to get your attention? Not all teens (or adults for that matter) will come right out with it when they need to talk. However just being available to them and checking in with them in the evenings before bedtime can give them an opportunity to offload something playing on their mind before having a restless night.
  9. Shift responsibility. Struggle to get your teen out of bed? Shift responsibility for getting up in the morning to them by making an agreement such as agreeing to wake them and give them one further warning, after which it’s over to them – including the consequences of being late.
  10. Comfort. Comfortable beds help people to sleep more comfortably at whatever age. If your teen is still sleeping in the inexpensive bed you bought them as a small child, there’s every chance that mattress isn’t suitable for their weight and won’t therefore be providing them any sleep comfort – which is hardly a good incentive to get to bed on time!

Treat your teen to #perfectsleep with a handmade mattress from Millbrook Beds and, as well as comfort worth going to bed for, they’ll also receive a Garmin vívosmart® 3 to help them keep track of their sleep and wellbeing.