5 Tips to Improve Bedtime Routine for Teens
By INBETWEEN Magazine
When bedtime rolls around, our bodies and minds are often tired from the long day. However, this doesn’t always translate into a good night’s rest. Especially for teenagers who are still developing, it’s important to implement a healthy routine at night to set them up for a positive, focused day. Here are 5 effective tips to improve bedtime routine that will get your teen to sleep better.
1. Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower
While some teens prefer a morning shower to wake up, researchers have found that bathing in warm water at night helps them sleep better. By heating your body up an hour and a half before bedtime, you are allowing your mind to relax while your body adjusts to the ideal sleep temperature. Encourage your teen to take a shower in the early evening to see if this gives them a sounder sleep.
2. Reduce Screen Time
It’s no secret that late-night screen time poses significant problems when trying to fall asleep. The blue light emitted from digital screens pushes our internal clock back and keeps us awake longer. For some, the solution would be to put their devices down 1-2 hours before bedtime. However, this may not be practical for everyone; especially teenagers, who spend an estimated 9 hours on their screens each day. A more feasible solution is looking into a pair of glasses with blue light protection, which serves to block the blue light rays and keep our internal clocks regulated. Not only can these be helpful at night, but wearing them throughout the day can reduce eye dryness and headaches. For a tech-savvy teen, these may be worth looking into.
3. Avoid Excess Liquid
Too much liquid before bedtime can cause frequent interruptions that keep you from a deep sleep. Repeated urination in the middle of the night is known as nocturia, which in most cases is preventable. In the hours leading up to bedtime, try to limit your teens’ food consumption, as it increases water intake. The more water they drink before falling asleep, the higher the chances they will get up in the middle of the night. Stopping eating at a reasonable time and consuming only the necessary amount of water, can aid in a sounder, uninterrupted sleep.
4. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Comfort can come from many factors including lighting, bedding, and temperature. The light turns our brain on, and exposure to the sun too early in the morning causes trouble falling back asleep. For an easy remedy look into putting blackout curtains in your teen’s room to keep the sun out. Similarly, simple bedding changes have also been known to make a difference. Weighted blankets can help to relieve stress and improve comfort in teens. Controlling the temperature is also a feasible task, with either a fan or heater depending on the season. Overall, minor changes can have a lasting impact on improving their sleep routine.
5. Manage Stress
Nowadays, teenagers are under more pressure than ever before. The stress of their appearance, school, extracurricular activities, and fitting in has been intensified with social media and the transition to hybrid or remote classes. Stress has many consequences; it can cause mood swings, physical discomfort, and disruptions to your sleep schedule. If you notice your teen seems withdrawn, encourage them to see a counsellor. Studies have shown that therapy can improve self-esteem, communication, and overall mood in adolescents. If they are not comfortable seeing a professional, another great suggestion is starting a journal. Writing your stresses and frustrations on paper can lift a weight from your mind and help you relieve stress. For those not ready to take the step towards counselling, it’s a great place to start.
There are endless ways to improve sleep habits, but these five tips act as a strong start. As always, keep open communication with your teen and be a support system when they need it. Hopefully, a more consistent nighttime routine can lead to a positive change in your teens’ overall mood.