4 Ways To Help Your Teen Get Enough Sleep

Even though the kids are back in school, it can still be hard for them to get into a proper sleep routine. After a summer of late nights, a lot of teens may have gotten used to sleeping in and are now finding it difficult to wake up for school so early in the morning. Though this may seem like rebellious behaviour, there is an actual scientific reason behind this.

Sleep Phase Delay

Sleeping patterns for teenagers are hormonally influenced because the hormonal response to the 24-hour light/dark exposure that influences circadian rhythm (an internal 24-hour clock running in the background of your brain that cycles between alertness and sleepiness) is altered. Adolescents then proceed to physiologically want to stay awake later at night and remain sleeping late in the daytime. The scientific reason behind changing sleep patterns is called Sleep Phase Delay. It means that a child that used to fall asleep at 9 p.m. doesn’t start to feel tired until 10:30 or 11 p.m.

Sleep expert Amy Marasco from Goodnight Sleep Site (a service committed to helping families get better sleep) says that adolescents show higher levels of alertness at 8 p.m. than most adults, and even more so at 10 p.m. “Further investigation revealed that the adolescent body’s release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin is delayed during the sleep phase delay portion of adolescence, making it harder for teens to fall asleep on their own,” says Marasco.

Sleepiness a Serious Threat

A technical report done by The American Academy of Paediatrics talks about how chronic sleep loss is a serious threat to teenagers that can contribute to obesity, mental health issues and drowsy driving. The report revealed that as students get older, sleep durations decline. Students in America, Germany, Northern Taiwan, and India dropped to less than eight hours of sleep for high-school aged students; so, it isn’t just a problem within North America.

How Many Hours Should Your Teen Be Sleeping?

Sleep is important to growing teens as appropriate sleep is required in order for their bodies and minds to function at their best.“The recommended amount of sleep for a teen is 9 ¼ hours which is much more sleep than the average 7-7 ¼ hours teens are currently getting,” says Marasco. Getting a proper amount of sleep will also help them fight off illness and keep up with academics, part-time jobs and family obligations.

4 Ways to Help Your Teen Gets the Proper Amount of Sleep

“Moving high school start times later, as gets discussed every few years to accommodate adolescent sleep schedules would certainly help, but this is out of parents’ control,” says Marasco. There are, however, several things that parents can do to help their teen get a proper amount of sleep. These include:

  • Maintaining a regular wake-up time. Regularly getting up early for school and late on weekends is asking for trouble as it throws off their body’s internal clock. While occasionally this may be necessary, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
  • Introduce an electronics curfew. About an hour before bed, electronics should be turned off. TV, video games, cellphones, and computers all emit blue light, which stimulates the brain. Parents need to step in and help set boundaries on their teen’s devices. Incorporate a family docking station within your home where everyone can plug in their tech overnight and keep it out of your bedrooms.
  • Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine/energy / coffee-based drinks are popular with teenagers, but they can wreak havoc on their sleep. Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon and eliminate it in the evening to help them sleep better.
  • Exercise earlier in the day. Exercise helps with sleep, but exercise within 3 hours of bedtime can make sleep harder, so move it to the morning to avoid conflict.

If after following these tips, a teenager is still excessively sleepy during the day, she suggests that you contact your family doctor to rule out any medical reasons causing the sleepiness.

What to Look for When Searching for the Perfect Mattress for your Teen

It is very important that your teen is using the right mattress because if they are not comfortable or getting the proper support then they will wake up with aches and pains.

“I always recommend taking your teen with you to try out different mattresses and to be sure to ask a sales associate for assistance based on your teen’s current mattress complaints,” suggests Marasco. “They are trained in this and your mattress is your most important piece of furniture. Be sure to have your teen lie down on the mattress and try it out for five to eight minutes. It is key that they lay in the position they normally sleep in and that they use a pillow.”

Ideally, you want to look for a mattress that helps provide full coverage. When the body is fully and completely contoured by the mattress so that all the pressure points are supported, your teen’s sleep will definitely improve.

The Casper mattress has recently earned the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval, a community of more than 85,000 families looking for the best quality products recommended by other parents.

The popular bed in a box is an award-winning, comfortable mattress loved for its easy delivery and setup as well as its 100-night trial. The mattress offers peace of mind and ultimate comfort because it features Zoned Support™ — an innovative foam framework that contours specifically to each area of the body for incredible comfort, ideal anatomical support and focused spinal alignment. With four supportive layers of high-density memory foam, the Casper Mattress provides balanced support for a growing teen and peace of mind for parents, knowing they’re giving their teens the best sleep solution.

By Mariam Ahmed


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