Sleep, as most people realise, is one of the most important things for any human body. When we sleep our bodies regenerate, recover and rejuvenate themselves from the previous days ‘adventures’, whether those adventures involved playing fancy dress or directing a board meeting.
For teenagers sleep is even more important. With bodies that are rapidly changing as well as their quickly maturing emotions many teens don’t get nearly the correct amount of sleep that they need in order to be able to handle those emotions along with extra responsibilities like school work. With this in mind we would like to give our Top Tips for helping teenagers get the sleep their maturing bodies desperately need.
One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is to actually sit down and talk with your teen about their sleep and how imperative it is that they get enough, especially if you believe that they aren’t. Let them know how important sleep is and that, especially on school nights, they should do their best to get at least eight hours of pillow time.
Encouraging your child to get at least 20 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week is very important to their sleep routine. The simple fact is that teenagers are full to the brim with energy and regular exercise will help to burn some of this energy off and let them get a good night’s rest.
While you probably wouldn’t encourage your teen to drink coffee you’ll probably be surprised to know that a regular can of Coca-Cola has just as much caffeine as 2 cups of coffee and about 5 times the sugar. Making sure that your teenage son or daughter aren’t overdoing it on carbonated drinks will definitely help them sleep better at night.
As disruptive as caffeine and sugar can be to sleep, eating a lot of food or heavy foods before bedtime can be worse and prevent the onset of sleep as well as make sleeping uncomfortable, something that will disrupt their sleep patterns and make their morning’s miserable.
Even though they’re thinking and doing a lot more on their own it is important that your teenagers get into a bedtime routine and go to sleep at approximately the same time every night.
Of course, just like with adults, a bedroom that is dark, quiet and comfortable will as well as a high-quality mattress are vital to your teenager’s healthy sleeping habits. If the bed that they are using is older or unsuited to their needs it may well be time to replace it with something that better suits them and makes sleeping more comfortable. A good rule of thumb with mattresses is that, if it’s a ‘hand me down’ and no longer good for the first person that was using it, it probably won’t be a great mattress for your teenager.
Good sleeping habits actually begin to form during our teenage years. If you’re keen on making sure that your children get into the habit of getting a good night’s sleep during their adult life you would do well to make sure that they learn good sleeping habits now. No matter what age they are and no matter how much they disagree with you about sleep, the simple fact is that most well-adjusted and successful teenagers get a full night’s sleep regularly.