Just how important is sleep for teenagers? At such a young age with a lot of personal development, stress and new beginnings, sleep is very important. Read on and find out just how much sleep teenagers need and how this can benefit their learning ability.
What are the features of teenage sleeping problems?
Even though it is way past their bedtime, some teenagers do not recognise the importance of sleep. There are a few tips for how you as a parent can make sure that your teenager gets a better, more peaceful night’s sleep: fixed bedtime, all digital temptations switched off before bedtime and even better, put in a different room.
Easier said than done
Of course, getting a teenager to accept, and to stick to the ‘sleep rules’ is easier said than done. For many teenagers a smartphone is a permanent fixture in their evening and morning ritual, and a teenager can easily give in to the temptation to snooze in the morning if they do not go to bed until late.
Smartphones, tablets and computers before bedtime
If the temptation is too great and your teenager simply cannot refrain from using their tablet, computer or mobile in the evening, there are some applications, which block access to these digital temptations during the night. It may be a drastic method, but if you switch off the internet, your teenager will avoid the blue light given off by their many screens. Learn even more as to how screens before bedtime can do your sleep.
Teenagers should take their sleep seriously
If teenagers get too little sleep, they will have a greater risk to immune deficiency, depression and obesity. This is because the lack of a good night’s sleep results in less energy, and this in turn leads to a greater craving for empty calories. Empty calories can result in a weakened immune system and reduced concentration.
Even though putting your foot down about specific bedtimes may have the opposite effect, it's vital to help your teenager to take their sleep seriously. Once a teenager gets into a vicious circle, it can be difficult for them to revert to a proper night's sleep.
An afternoon nap is not necessarily a great idea
Most parents have experienced their teenager taking a power nap in the afternoon, when returning home from school, college or their job. The problem of a power nap is that, if it's too long or takes place too late during the day, it can have a negative impact on the quality of their night’s sleep. In other words, it becomes harder for your teenager to get the 8-10 hours of sleep, which the majority of teenagers require.
Too much sleep at the weekend can destroy the sleep rhythm
Your teenager may also try to compensate for their lack of sleep by sleeping in during the weekend. This does not have the positive effect they expect, and may result in an even drowsier teenager come Monday morning.
Fixed bedtimes lead to a better sleep rhythm
Of course it's okay for a teenager to sleep in once in a while. But it does not help the situation if your teenager tries to catch up on sleep from the previous week by sleeping well into the morning at the weekend. It's a much better idea to establish some more-or-less regular bedtimes – both on weekdays and at weekends. By establishing a more even sleep rhythm, it will provide your teenager with more energy for Monday morning and for the rest of the week.