It’s well known that some kind of switch seems to get thrown when our precious little ones become teens. Their sleeping patterns or lack there of become things of legend. The vampiric like late hours and the spaced out zombie behavior first thing in the morning is enough to drive any parent up the walls.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 9.5 hours of sleep is optimal for teens with 8.5 being the minimum recommendation. However one study found that only about 15% of teens report getting 8.5 hours of sleep on school nights.
So what can teens do to get better sleep? Here are some suggestions:
- It’s all in the timing! Come up with and stick to a schedule. Consistently going to sleep and waking up at the same time will allow your body to get in sync with its natural patterns. This makes falling asleep easier.
- Unplug! We know it’s a chore in our digital age, but avoiding the TV, computer, iPad, iPhone, tablet, or other digital device for an hour before bed will give your mind and eyes a chance to relax, possibly making it easier to fall asleep.
- Get in a routine! Do the same things every night before bed. This teaches your body the signals that it’s time to prepare for sleep.
So regardless of where you might be in Alaska from Soldotna, to Anchorage, to Wasilla or Fairbanks, it’s not too soon to start helping you teens prepare for the transition from summer to school sleep schedules.