Offered by Brighton Pediatrics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep each night for their optimal well-being, yet two-thirds of high school students get less than 8 hours of sleep on an average weeknight. Sleep plays an important part in learning, memory storage, brain recuperation, performance, metabolism and emotion regulation. Sleep-deprived teenagers tend to be moody and unhappy, and have more difficulty in school. Inadequate sleep may also contribute to obesity.
How can we help our teenagers get enough sleep? A good night’s sleep requires a dark, quiet bedroom that is not too hot or cold, and a comfortable bed. Regular exercise earlier in the day is helpful. Teenagers should avoid caffeine for at least six hours before bedtime and avoid eating a heavy meal within two hours of bedtime. A relaxing bedtime routine, which might include a soothing bath, enjoyable reading or yoga, is helpful. The bedtime routine should include turning off electronic devices that might delay getting to sleep or wake one up during the night.
Anxiety and depression may cause difficulty falling asleep and sleeping soundly, in which case seeking help for the anxiety and depression may be essential.
Regular sleep hours are important. Sleeping very late on weekends makes it difficult to fall asleep at the necessary time Sunday night. For a high school student with a heavy course load, sports, and other activities, finding enough hours for a good night’s sleep may be difficult. We can try to help our teenagers strike a healthy balance between these activities and free time and set a good example by following a healthy sleep routine ourselves.
For additional health information, visit our website at www.brightonpeds.com.
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