Sleeping Tips For Teens

Experts say that 80 percent of adolescents don’t get the recommended sleep they need which is nine hours.  To be fair, most adults barely achieve that goal but the effects on teens might be more serious.  Studies show that lack of sleep in adolescents leads to lower school performance, reduced cognitive abilities and mood problems including depression.

To really drive the point home, Canadian researchers tested teens with a medium they could truly relate to – Guitar Hero!  Because the game requires complex motor learning, it is ideal for measuring the real-world effects of sleep on daily activities.  Scientists from Trent University in Ontario found students tested at 9 a.m. on a Guitar Hero song they learned at 9 p.m. the previous night showed three times the improvement in performance scores compared with students in a “wakeful” condition who learned the song at 9 a.m. and were tested again at 9 p.m.

Though this may not sound overly impressive, Peters says the results demonstrate a highly significant link between sleep duration and motor learning.

So  consider the following:

  • Establish a bedtime.Yes, it may seem like childish punishment to a teenager but this lets a teen arrange their day’s activities with a sleep schedule in mind.
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle.Keep your kids away from caffeine after school and try your hardest to limit televisions, video games, computers, cell phones and stereos as the evening goes on.
  • Create an environment conducive to sleep. Turn off monitors and cell phones to reduce the amount of artificial light.  Invest in curtains and blinds to keep the room dark at night but bright in the morning.  Invest in comfortable bedding like bamboo charcoal products queenthat are thermo-regulating and moisture wicking.
  • Help your teen with time-management skills.Many teens have poor judgment about how long tasks will take, and end up staying up very late to complete assignments.
  • Try to stick to your sleep schedule on the weekends.It might be a treat to sleep in but staying inbed late into the morning just makes falling asleep on Sunday night more difficult and getting back on track for the week can prove difficult.
  • Make sleeping clothes comfortable. If your teen feels too old for pajamas, consider any tops and bottoms that are less restrictive and breathe easier.  Bamboo clothes are certainly worth looking into for the fabric’s silky comfort and ability to breathe.
  • Try books on tape. Many preschoolers fall asleep to the soothing sounds of a parent reading a bedtime story. Playing a book on tape at a barely audible level permits the room to be dark, and the quiet voice can function as “white noise” that also helps prevent stray worries from hijacking a teen from sleep.

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