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.
- Screens. Let’s kick off with the most debated topic: screen time. Ultimately you know your teen, if you think excessive screen time during the day (especially during evening hours) are interfering with your teen’s sleep habits, talk to them and together agree adjustments to their routines and why.
- 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 as these will benefit their sleep too.
- Timing is everything. Amongst many changes puberty brings is a shift in a teenager’s circadian rhythm. Scientists are just 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.
- Routine. Your teen has no doubt put their own stamp on ‘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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sleep friendly bedroom. Always cover the bedrooms basics – in order to sleep well, our bedrooms should be temperate, free of distraction, and free of noise and light disturbances.
- 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 and could save them a restless night.
- Shift responsibility. Struggle to get your teen out of bed? Shift responsibility for getting up in the morning to them – including the consequences of being late.
- 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 young child, there’s every chance that mattress isn’t suitable for their weight and won’t provide sleep comfort – not a great incentive to get to bed on time!
Treat your teen to #perfectsleep with a handmade mattress from Millbrook Beds and help them learn to love their sleep.