March 1, 2021
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential during teen years, working behind the scenes to allow teens to be at their best. Unfortunately, research indicates that many teens get far less sleep than they need. Both the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine agree that teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night. Getting this recommended amount of sleep can help teens maintain their physical health, emotional well-being, and school performance. At the same time, teens face numerous challenges to getting consistent, restorative sleep. Recognizing those challenges helps teens and their parents make a plan so that teens get the sleep they need. Keep reading to learn more about two key challenges teens face that impact the amount of sleep they get.
Teens often have their hands full. School assignments, work obligations, household chores, social life, community activities, and sports are just some of the things that can require their time and attention. With so much to try to fit into each day, many teens don’t allocate sufficient time for sleep. They may stay up late during the week to finish homework or during the weekend when hanging out with friends, both of which can reinforce their night owl schedule.
Use of Electronic Devices
Screen time late into the evening can contribute to sleeping problems. Using these devices can keep teens’ brains wired and incoming notifications can cause disrupted and fragmented sleep. Evidence also points to suppressed melatonin production from exposure to the light from cell phones.
Tips for Healthier Sleep for Teens
- Budget eight hours of sleep into a daily schedule and keep that same schedule on both weekdays and weekends
- Create a consistent pre-bed routine to help with relaxation and falling asleep fast
- Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
- Avoid caffeine and energy drinks, especially in the afternoon and evening
- Put away electronic devices for at least a half-hour before bed and keep them on silent mode to avoid checking them during the night
YScreen can help identify signs of stress and anxiety that may impact a student’s sleep routine. YScreen staff can also help connect teens and their families to the appropriate community resources that can address these concerns and help them cope. YScreen is available to teens in Fond du Lac County. If you would like to request screening for your child or would like more information about YScreen, please contact us at (920) 906-6571.
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