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Sleep tips for teenagers

These practical hints and tips for parents could help if your teenager has sleep problems.

Are you having trouble dragging your teenager out of bed in time for school (or even lunchtime!)? If so, follow these tips to help your teenager sleep better. 

Talk to your teenager about their sleep problems

Talk to your teenager about anything they're worried about. This will help them to put their problems into perspective and sleep better.

Here's some advice on how to talk to your teenager.

Promote the benefits of good sleep

Emphasise to your teenager the importance of sleep. It has proven advantages for memory and performance. A minimum of eight to nine hours’ good sleep on school nights is recommended for teens.

Find out how much sleep children need.

Exercise for better sleep

It's official – regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, as well as improving your general health. Teenagers should be aiming for at least 60 minutes every day, including activities such as fast walking and running.

Read more about how much exercise teenagers need.

Cut out the caffeine to beat insomnia

Suggest that your teenager drinks less caffeine (contained in drinks such as cola, tea and coffee). Too much caffeine stops them falling asleep and prevents deep sleep.

Don't binge before bedtime

Let teenagers know that eating too much or too little close to bedtime may prevent sleep, due to an overfull or empty stomach. This can be a cause of discomfort throughout the night.

Read more about good foods to help your digestion.

Bedtime routines are a great sleep aid

Encourage your teenager to have a bedtime routine. Doing the same things in the same order an hour or two before slumber time can help them drift off to sleep.

Use these bedtime routine tips that are guaranteed to send your teenager to sleep.

Is the bedroom sleep-friendly?

Ensure they have a good sleeping environment – ideally a room that is dark, cool, quiet, safe and comfortable. It might be worth investing in thicker curtains or a blackout blind to help insulate against the light of summertime early mornings (and late evenings).

Limit screens in the bedroom

If possible, don't have a mobile, tablet, TV or computer in the bedroom, as the light from the screen interferes with sleep. A music system is preferable. 

Get a comfy bed

Ensure teens have a comfortable bed or mattress. If it's time to get a new one, encourage them to choose it.

The Good-Night Guide for Children (PDF, 332kb) from The Sleep Council has tips for teenagers on how to choose the right bed.

Good sleep habits last a lifetime

Remember, habits learned in adolescence often become lifetime habits, so make sure they learn good sleep habits early and they'll last a lifetime.

Here are some simple lifestyle changes that improve sleep.

Your Neighbourhood Professionals Caroline Doughty
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Your Neighbourhood Professionals Caroline Doughty
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