People sometimes tend to think teenagers are generally a bit lazy, but sleep is really important for young people – especially when they are studying hard, doing extra curricular activities and still growing. An altering body clock during this time of life means that it is normal for them to want to stay up late and sleep for longer in the morning.
This is why getting into a proper sleep routine is key, because according to The Sleep Council, 12-18 year olds need around 8 to 9 hours sleep per day. If your teenager is being affected by their quality of sleep, read on for some ways to try and improve the situation:
Modern technology is often a factor in sleep problems, therefore it’s best to limit screen time in the evenings (easier said than done, I know) but especially in the hour before bed. Encourage them to stay off the screens a bit earlier to avoid the stimulation that can interfere with sleep hormones. Try getting teens to rediscover reading and bury their heads in a good book instead of watching YouTube!
Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Caffeine and sugar are stimulants that need to be avoided – and we’re not just talking sports drinks here. Even an innocent cup of tea in the evening can have an adverse effect and for teens, it is advisable to not consume any caffeine products after 3pm. If you’re lucky, they may be willing to try a herbal tea or stick with a traditional bedtime of warm milk drink.
Take a Bath or Shower
A warm and relaxing bath or shower before bed is a really good idea for teens to try and aid sleep – especially if they are feeling tense or stressed about any exams or general worries. Pure lavender essential oil is reputed to have sleep inducing properties, so it may be worth adding a few drops to the bathwater or trying some lavender based bath products.
Sleep on a new Mattress
It’s a fact that many teens are still sleeping on the mattresses they’ve had since they were young children. For a good night’s sleep, a mattress should be no more than 7 – 10 years old and provide comfort and good support. Our son recently began sleeping on a new Leesa mattress, which has three different layers of high quality foam designed to keep you cool and comfortable. With a thick and luxurious cottony-soft cover, in a fresh and contemporary design of grey marl with white stripes, the mattress has no springs within the core, meaning there’s never any discomfort or pressure points to worry about when turning over. It isn’t as springy as a traditional mattress can be and so you don’t roll into the middle, as the whole surface area simply supports your weight evenly and gently cushions you for a great night’s sleep!
The Leesamattress also comes conveniently rolled up in a modest sized box – much easier to wrangle up the stairs and it’s definitely fun to watch it expand when you take it out of the packaging. Here it is on my son’s bed looking super smart and comfy:
Keep the room cool and dark
If the room temperature isn’t right, it’s hard to sleep properly whatever your age. The bedroom should ideally be cool for a comfortable sleep. In the summer it can get hot and humid, so an electric fan or a portable air-con unit would be ideal in that situation.
It also helps to have a dark room and our children have always had a black out blind at their windows – especially useful during the summer months with all that early morning light.
And in recent times, many people are benefiting from using alarms such as the Lumie Bodyclock, which mimics a gradual sunrise effect, helping you to wake up naturally and feel brighter and more refreshed in the morning.
An organised and tidy bedroom can create a feeling of calm which in turn makes you more relaxed. Clutter is definitely a distraction and doesn’t aid a restful night’s sleep. We’ve tried to address this recently by moving our son’s furniture around into a better layout and we’ve provided storage and a laundry bin so there’s no excuse about leaving the room a mess. We’ve refreshed the decor, too. The trendy brick wallpaper has been up for a little while, but we recently painted the other two walls (which were petrol blue) a soft black which looks good against the brick and suits this kind of urban industrial look. (The cool arrow wall hanger was from Rose & Grey a while back and I sprayed the metal cage wall storage from Next with copper paint. The salvaged chest of drawers was a cool Ebay find.)
Teens struggling to get into a good sleep routine should ensure they are doing enough exercise – it makes sense to tire out the body in order to sleep, so getting just 30-60 minutes of exercise a day could make a difference.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Leesa who gifted the mattress, but all words & opinions are my own and I only feature the brands I love and think that readers will too!