3 Tips to Help Your Teen Sleep Better

Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to keep your teenager healthy, both physically and mentally. Despite this fact, studies show that the majority of teens in America do not have good sleep schedules. As a parent, this might concern you – particularly given the startling statistic that over 40% of teens don’t get enough sleep.  After all,  helping teens sleep is much harder than Helping Babies Sleep, since teens have more power to make their own decisions.

That said, here are a few tips that can help your teen sleep better……

1. Keep Electronics Out of the Bedroom
The majority of teens who have an unhealthy sleep schedule cite the use of electronics such as phones, tablets, and computers, before bed as being the main reason they can’t sleep. Studies show that the use of electronics at bedtime can be damaging to everyone’s health, but especially young teens who are still developing and need more sleep. Setting a rule in your household and designating a certain time, like 9 PM on weeknights, that your teen has to give up their phone, is one possible approach.  You  may experience push back from them, but ultimately they will likely adjust and welcome the restorative sleep and embrace how good they feel the next day.

2. Maintain a Nightly Routine & Boost Darkness/Coolness
Having a strong routine at night is one of the best and easiest ways to try to get back on track with sleep. For example, eating dinner together at a given time can help your teen wind down for bed.  Also, be sure your teen’s room stays fully dark at night, as it’s essential for sleep. Purchase blackout shades if needed.  Light exposure at the wrong time can alter a person’s internal sleep clock.  And, maintaining a comfortable room temperature, typically a bit on the cooler side, can promote better sleep.

3. Discourage Naps & Encourage Exercise
When your teen comes home from school exhausted, it can be tempting for them to take a long nap – especially if they are tired due to an inconsistent or unhealthy sleep schedule. This can disrupt their sleep schedule further, as napping especially in the late afternoon decreases the chances of falling and staying asleep throughout the night. Exercise can actually help increase sleep quality, so encourage your teen to get in some moderate to vigorous movement early in the evening.  Perhaps go for a walk with them after dinner, as one idea, or go for a swim, weather and time permitting.

As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your teen struggle with sleep – so follow these 3 tips to help them get back on track.