The thing about teenagers and sleep is that they need a lot of it! But they don’t always want it, or they don’t want it at times that fit in with the rest of the world’s schedule.
Parents who have not experienced sleep issues since their children were toddlers can suddenly find themselves sleep deprived from waiting up late for their teenagers to go to bed, or being woken in the middle of the night (by loud trips to the bathroom or mobile phones going off), or faced with a sullen moody monster who is impossible to rouse in the mornings.
Helping teenagers to develop healthy sleep habits can make a major contribution to teenagers’ overall wellbeing and success. So here are a few thoughts on how parents can help.
Teenagers and sleep: Key Facts
- Sleep is essential for teenagers’ growth, learning, brain development and mood.
- Sleep patterns tend to shift in the teenage years towards later sleeping and later waking.
- Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep each night – but only 15% of them get enough sleep.
- Sleep deprivation is linked to increased sugar cravings.
- Using screens and technology within an hour of going to bed has been shown to affect quality of sleep negatively.
- One in three 16 and 17 year olds has faced sleepless nights due to worry in the last year.