A good night’s sleep is absolutely important for your children’s health and academic performance. Unfortunately, most teenagers do not get adequate sleep during the week. Here’s what parents need to now about teenager’s sleep patterns, and how they can help their children get the sleep they need to succeed.
During adolescence, a person’s biological sleep pattern naturally shifts later for both going to sleep and waking up. Additionally, teenagers are notorious for having irregular sleeping patterns that change with their schedule. According to the Sleep Foundation, teenagers and adolescents need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, only about 15% of American teenagers actually get this amount of sleep during the school year.
Teenagers have a variety of external and internal factors that can negatively affect their sleep patters. Teens tend to stay up later on weeknights and sleep in on weekends, which can throw off their biological sleep patterns. Additionally, teens are more social and connected than younger children, and spend a lot of their time hanging out with their friends on social media and video games.
Parents can help their children get more sleep by taking a few easy measures at home.
A sleep schedule can improve your quality of sleep, and help you feel more rested after a full night’s sleep. A sleep schedule also helps people fall asleep more quickly, and allows the body’s biological patterns to get into sync.
Television, computer, and phone screens constantly surround us, and they can actually prevent us from falling asleep. That’s because screens typically engage our mind and stimulate thoughts. Try limiting their TV, videogames, computer and cellphone usage to a time period that is at least one hour from bedtime. This will help calm their minds, and make it much easier for them to fall asleep.
Consuming sugar and caffeine in the two hours before bedtime can hinder your body’s ability to fall asleep. If your teen isn’t getting enough sleep, look at their diet to see if there is too much sugar or caffeine before bed.
Sometimes, a lack of sleep is not due to behavioral patterns, but actually something more serious like sleep apnea. If you suspect that your child has sleep apnea, then visit our office to discuss treatment options that may be available.