A well-rested person is easy to recognize. They are bright-eyed, happy, energetic, kind, and able to focus. This applies to people of all ages, including teenagers. Teens who get enough sleep are known to be friendly with their peers, more motivated to do well in school, have healthy appetites, and readily engage in many activities. They enjoy school and do well in their studies because they are able to focus and retain new information. If they work a part-time job or participate in after-school activities, like choir or sports, they are known to perform better.
You may look at this and think “Then why do the teens I know not act this way?” Probably because they aren’t well-rested! While you’ve no doubt heard that 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night is ideal, this is for a healthy adult, not a teen who still has a lot of growing and maturing to do. While you are asleep, your body is repairing and growing. That is one reason young people need so much of it!
Data and research tell us that teens need between 9 and 9 ½ hours of sleep a night. How much does the typical teen get? Not enough! The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours each night. This means most teenagers are missing out on two hours of sleep, every single night. No wonder the teens in your life are grumpy!
The young people in our country are facing a true health crisis right now in regard to chronic sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep contributes to mood swings, poor physical development, depression and other mental health disorders, worse grades than their peers who get enough sleep, and more. Study after study tells us the same thing- teens need their sleep!
As a parent, you want to do the right thing for your teen. You want to make sure they get their full nine hours of sleep, each and every night. But how? There are sleep deprivation solutions that you can begin to put into place right away! One of these is maintaining a regular sleep schedule that involves going to sleep at the same time every night. Yes, your teen needs a bed time!
If you’re dreading this, assuming it will be a battle, know that it doesn’t need to be this way. With a few expert suggestions, getting a teen to bed can be much easier than you may fear:
#1 Turn your teen’s room into a sleep oasis. This includes making sure they have a high-quality mattress that they find comfortable and supportive, as well as pillows, bed sheets and other blankets they like to snuggle down into. If your teen feels anxious, you may want to give them a weighted blanket. If they like to read in bed, a lounge reading pillow or adjustable bed base would be perfect. The key is to make this a special, comfortable place made just for them.
#2 Stop screen time two hours before bed. Tell your teen to turn off the television, computer, and cell phone well before bedtime. In fact, you want to keep them out of their room all together at night. Television viewing, video game playing, social media scrolling, internet use, and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause problems falling asleep. This will lead to sleeping in later and staying up late against the next night. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken!
#3 Work together to develop a healthy, relaxing bedtime routine. You’ve turned off all screens. What are they supposed to do before they fall asleep? Have them spend time reading, listening to music, or drawing. A bath with a few scented candles works well for many teens. It’s very soothing and gives them time to decompress from their day. A few minutes spent in yoga, meditation, prayer, or journaling often helps too. Remember, this isn’t you telling them what they have to do to relax. That won’t work! Discuss a few healthy options with your teen and go in the direction they seem to be most interested in.
City Mattress is here to help! Bring your teen into your nearest City Mattress location and let them pick out a mattress that feels right to them. You probably want a Queen size mattress so they have plenty of room to sprawl out, grow, and stretch. Letting them choose their own new mattress is a fantastic way to encourage them to get the sleep their body needs.