While it’s no surprise that getting enough sleep is important for everyone, teenagers who are not getting enough sleep can be especially putting their mental health at risk.
Research has shown that the physical, mental, emotional, and social changes and challenges that accompany teenage development are depended upon the length and quality of sleep for wellness. Teens need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night to help successfully cope with these challenges and function well to the stressors they encounter in their lives, in addition to boosting their immune systems and restoring mental and physical energy.
It’s been shown that if teens sleep less than 6 hours a night, they can run the risk of participating in risky behaviors, become harmfully aggressive, and are more susceptible to developing depression, anxiety, or other behavioral issues. And studies have shown that roughly 1 in 5 teenagers (12-18 yrs old) in The United States suffer from at least one mental health disorder.
If your teen is struggling to get the sleep they need, you can try to help them by
- Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
- Keeping electronics out of the bedroom, including charging cellphones.
- Keep the bedroom as a quiet environment at bedtime- no loud music or active pets.
- Discourage naps to encourage better sleep at night.
- Encourage doing homework right as they get home for school so that it’s not keeping them up at night.
- Limit their caffeine intake.
- Have them try melatonin- a natural supplement that can help encourage sleep
- Make sure their bedroom is at a comfortable sleeping temperature. If it’s not, consider heating and air conditioning improvements and/or new windows.
- Consider a new bedroom design that can help encourage an environment of relaxation and rest.
If your teen continues to have sleep issues, it’s important that you take them to see a health provider who can further help or unveil an underlying issue that can be causing sleep problems.
Here is a blog article on 6 Tips to Get Restful Sleep.