How to help adolescents get more sleep

How to help adolescents get more sleep

– From puberty until the age of 22, adolescents need approximately nine hours sleep per day – For physical, mental and cognitive health
– many parents (& adolescents) think this is UNACHIEVABLE
– Research by the Journal of Adolescent Health shows only 8% of US teens get adequate sleep
– some 59% live with severe sleep deprivation
– The American Academy of Paediatrics note this causes problems &/or risks of problems for adolescents, including:
– Safety | Academic Performance | Depression | Obesity
– Need to encourage commitment by adolescents to change (parents can assist this)
– Particularly if they can see the benefits of additional sleep
– Parents can also try talking about sleep hygiene
– Encourage limit setting around: bed time, study time, social media use [managing time]
– Brown University Psychiatry professor – Start early, where possible

Other tips:
– Consistency is important in building healthy sleep habits
(sleep & waking times should be regular, including on weekends)
– Screens off an hour before bed each night
– For reasons of excitement/stimulation
– For management of “blue light” which suppresses the production of melatonin & makes the adolescent not feel tired
– homework on screens should therefore be scheduled earlier in the evening &
Off-screen work should occur later in the evening
– no “unwinding” by going on Facebook or YouTube
– social media is socially stimulating & potentially anxiety-creating for the teen
– paediatricians recommend free app called “f.lux” that automatically adjusts the light on computer screens so as to coincide with light associated with a particular time of day
– families too can help this, by dimming lights in the house where they are available
– watch snacking (weight gain) used to self-regulate/stay awake
– also watch caffeine consumption after dinner
– both snacking & caffeine can harm/postpone sleep
– some paediatricians recommend teens take low dosages of melatonin as a sleep aid, & the medical implications need to be considered (such as interaction effects with other medications etc.,)

Source: Child mind Institute @


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