Why is Sleep Important for Kids and Teens?

Check out these helpful sleep tips forkids and teens.

What’s up with sleep?

You might be wondering, “Why is sleep important for kids and teens anyway?” It may seem like a waste of time when you’ve got so much going on. But sleep can help you do better in school, stress less, and generally be more pleasant to have around. Sound good?

The good news? It’s easy to make a few small changes that will help you get more sleep! Follow the simple Sleep Tips below to get started.

Some possible effectsof not getting enough sleep:

  • Feeling angry or depressed
  • Having trouble learning, remembering, and thinking clearly
  • Having more accidents, including when driving or using machines
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feeling less motivated
  • Possibly gaining weight
  • Negatively impacting your eating habits
  • Having lower self-esteem
  • Greater risk of long-term illness​
Sleep Tips for Kids and Teens
  • Tip #1
    Sleep only as much as you need to feel refreshed during the following day.

    Restricting your time in bed helps to consolidate and deepen your sleep. Excessively long times in bed lead to fragmented and shallow sleep. Staying in bed too long can lead to fragmented and shallow sleep. Get up at your regular time the next day, no matter how little you slept.

  • Tip #2
    Get up at the same time each day, 7 days a week.

    A regular wake time in the morning leads to regular times of sleep onset and helps to set your "biological clock." If your schedule is thrown off - try to ease back into it gradually. This gives your body time to adjust.

  • Tip #3
    Exercise regularly.

    Schedule exercise times so that they do not occur within 3 hours of when you intend to go to bed. Exercise makes it easier to initiate sleep and sleep more deeply.

  • Tip #4
    Make your bedroom comfortable and free from light and noise.

    A comfortable, noise-free sleep environment will reduce the likelihood that you will wake up during the night. Noise that does not awaken you may also disturb the quality of your sleep. Carpeting, insulated curtains, and closing the door may help.

  • Tip #5
    Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature during the night.

    Excessively warm or cold sleep environments may disturb sleep.

  • Tip #6
    Eat regular meals and do not go to bed hungry.

    Hunger may disturb sleep. A light snack at bedtime (especially carbohydrates) may help sleep but avoid greasy or “heavy” foods.

  • Tip #7
    Avoid excessive liquids in the evening.

    Reducing liquid intake will minimize the need for nighttime trips to the bathroom.

  • Tip #8
    Cut down on all caffeine products.

    Caffeinated beverages and foods (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) can cause difficulty falling asleep, awakenings during the night, and shallow sleep. Even caffeine early in the day can disrupt nighttime sleep.

  • Tip #9
    Don’t take your problems to bed.

    Plan some time earlier in the evening for working on your problems or planning the next day’s activities. Worrying may interfere with initiating sleep and produce shallow sleep.

  • Tip #10
    Train yourself to use the bedroom only for sleeping.

    This will help condition your brain to see bed as the place for sleeping. Do not read, watch TV, eat or use your phone in bed.

  • Tip #11
    Do not try to fall asleep.

    This only makes the problem worse. Instead, turn on the light, leave the bedroom, and do something different like reading a book. Don’t engage in stimulating activity. Return to bed only when you are sleepy.

  • Tip #12
    Put the clock under the bed or turn it so that you can’t see it.

    Clock watching may lead to frustration, anger, and worry, which interfere with sleep.

  • Tip #13
    Avoid naps.

    Staying awake during the day helps you to fall asleep at night.

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