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Sleep

When young people (and even adults) do not get enough sleep their mental health and well-being can suffer. Not getting enough sleep can affect a teenager’s mood, but also things like their ability to concentrate in class, their athletic performance, and even things like how safely they drive. The amount of sleep recommended for an individual depends on their age.

There are many reasons teens do not or cannot get enough sleep. Packed schedules, stress, not having a comfortable or safe environment to sleep in, and even things like putting off sleep or not prioritizing sleep for activities like screen time can all contribute. 

6-12 Years Old

9-12 hours per 24 hours

13-18 Years Old

8-10 hours per 24 hours

18+ Years Old

7 or more hours per 24 hours

Tips for Increasing the Amount of Sleep Teens Get

  • Learn About and Model “Sleep Hygiene” Practices.

    • Setting regular times for bed and keeping a consistent wind down routine, helps people fall asleep more easily.

    • Avoid using electronic devices (e.g., phones, TV, video game consoles) within 30 mins of trying to sleep. The light from a screen is the key sleep disruptor here. Using an app on a phone for music, podcasts, or meditation if the screen is off can be helpful for some people.

    • Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Sleeping areas that are dark, quiet, and less than 75 degrees are best.

    • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon or evening and beware of sneaky caffeine in juice, and sports drinks or powders.

 

  • Watch out for sleep myths! “Catching up” on sleep over the weekend or a holiday doesn’t work. A consistent schedule is more beneficial to teenagers getting more sleep.

 

  • Start Youth Activities Later or End Earlier: Structure youth activities to start later in the morning or end earlier at night to prioritize the time youth spend sleeping

 

  • Replace Even Short Activities with Sleep: Every bit of sleep we can get back in youth’s lives is helpful. Try replacing 15 mins of screen time (e.g., phone, TV, video games) with sleep.

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