Sleep Tips for Teenagers – Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

A minimum of 8 to 9 hours’ good sleep on school nights is recommended for teenagers.

Here’s how to make sure you are getting enough sleep to stay healthy and do well at school.

Limit screens in the bedroom

If possible, don’t have a mobile, tablet, TV or computer in the bedroom at night, as the light from the screen interferes with sleep.

Having screens in the bedroom also means you are more likely to stay up late interacting with friends on social media.

Have at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before going to sleep.

Exercise for better sleep

It’s official: regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, as well as improving your general health.

Teenagers should be aiming for at least 60 minutes’ exercise every day, including aerobic activities such as fast walking and running.

Exercising out in daylight will help to encourage healthy sleep patterns, too.

Cut out the caffeine

Drink less caffeine – found in drinks such as cola, tea and coffee – particularly in the 4 hours before bed.

Too much caffeine can stop you from falling asleep and reduce the amount of deep sleep you have.

Don’t binge before bedtime

Eating too much, or too little, close to bedtime can lead to an overfull or empty stomach. This can be a cause of discomfort during the night and may prevent sleep.

Have a good routine

Try to have a good regular bedtime routine. Doing the same things in the same order an hour or so before bed can help you to drift off to sleep.

Create a sleep-friendly bedroom

Try to turn your bedroom into a good sleeping environment – ideally a room that is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable.

It might be worth investing in thicker curtains or a blackout blind to help block out early summer mornings and light evenings.

Talk through any problems

Talk to a family member or a friend about anything you’re worried about. This will help you to put your problems into perspective and sleep better.

You could also jot down your worries or make a to-do list before you go to bed. This should mean you are less likely to lie awake worrying during the night.

Avoid long weekend lie-ins

Try not to sleep in for hours at weekends. Late nights and long lie-ins can disrupt your body clock and leave you with weekend “jet lag” on Monday morning.

For further information and tips, please see or speak to your School Nurse.