How much sleep should your teen get?

tired exhausted woman restingTeenagers are known for keeping odd hours and for staying up all night and sleeping all day (when they have the chance). But the right amount of sleep is important for your teen’s growth and happiness. Are you wondering if your teen is getting enough sleep?

Why your teen may be having trouble sleeping

Your teen is most likely on the go just about every minute of the day with school and social activities. This means their bodies and brains are working constantly, but this doesn’t mean they fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Experts say that teens should get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, but the teen’s own body is working against itself on this one. At this time of life, the body makes melatonin (a hormone needed for good sleep) later at night than in the adult or child brain. This can mean that teens have a tougher time falling asleep. Everyone has trouble falling asleep occasionally, but if your teen has insomnia for several nights a week for more than a week, it may be time to get help. You should also take your teen to their doctor if he or she thinks they are getting enough sleep but still feel tired during the day.

To sleep better, your teen may try:

• Making sure the sleep environment is comfortable enough – not too bright, cold, hot, or noisy

• Getting regular exercise (but not right before bedtime)

• Avoiding caffeine (including energy drinks)

• Getting rid of any television sets or game systems in the bedroom (it might even be a good idea to charge cell phones outside of the bedroom)

• Starting a sleep routine about an hour before bedtime. Put away any homework, stop playing video games, and turn off the television. Take a relaxing warm bath, read, listen to music, or meditate.

Getting enough sleep – and good sleep – is important for everyone, but this can be especially tough when you are a teenager. If your teen is having trouble sleeping, contact Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT, today. Call 203-653-3519 for an appointment!

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