Teens and Sleep
Adolescents need between 8-10 hours sleep a night, but many students are falling short of the rest they need. Insufficient sleep can impact your general energy level as well as your performance at school. Sleep hygiene is a variety of practices and habits which help encourage a good night’s sleep, which can have a positive impact cognition, concentration and productivity.
Practicing Sleep Hygiene
1. Train your body when to go to sleep and when to wake up by going to bed at the same time each night and keeping your schedule regular.
2. Finish eating at least two hours before getting into bed.
3. Avoid stimulants like caffeine for a few hours before bed.
4. Exercise during the day helps with regular sleep, but try to do it at least four hours before bed so that elevated energy levels and endorphins can wear off. Exercising outdoors is especially beneficial as natural light helps to regulate your body clock.
5. Have a warm shower. Showers or baths raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy.
6. Put screens away an hour before going to bed, as using an electronic device in the hour before bedtime can impact how long it takes you to get to sleep and how long you stay asleep. Charging your phone in another room can also help by preventing vibrations and lights from disturbing you during the night.
7. Create a sleep routine to help prepare your body for sleep. You might like to try some stretches or a bath or a cup of tea with a good book.
8. Only use your bed for sleeping. If you sit on your bed to study or watch TV, then your body will learn it is a place to keep your mind active, rather than for winding down.