If you’re wondering to yourself “what is the recommended sleep time for a teenager?” Find the answers to your questions here.
Why is Sleep Important for Teens?
According to a recent study by the Sleep Foundation, teenagers need on average 9 hours of sleep per night. But why?
It has a lot to do with the circadian rhythm (if you’re not sure what it is, you can learn about it in our post: What is the Circadian Rhythm and How Does It Affect You?) and something we all remember with a shudder, puberty.
Known technically as a “sleep phase delay”, as teenagers begin puberty, their bodies’ inner clock shifts. Instead of telling them it’s bedtime at around 8 or 9pm, suddenly they’re not fatigued until 10 or even 11pm in some cases.
This switch in sleeping schedules often causes havoc with their attempts to get the necessary 9 hours a night, with many even suffering from a degree of insomnia as they make the change.
The sleep phase delay is in part, why teenagers need the extra hours. Their body and mind need time to sync up.
We all feel the exhaustion when the clocks go forward or back, well imagine that but 20x worse. Then of course, add into the mix all the hormone changes, growth spurts, and generally exhausting trials of teenage life, and suddenly it all makes sense.
How Can You Help Your Teenager Sleep?
I’ve often wondered why my teenager is so tired. Teenagers are moody and argumentative at the best of times, try and tell them when to go to bed and you could have a serious battle on your hands.
In that respect, how can you help your teenager sleep? Here are a few tips.
Set a Routine Into Motion
No, I don’t mean bedtime stories and cups of warm milk. There’s no way they’d buy into that (I’ve tried). Instead, try peeling them away from phones and computer games an hour or so before they plan on turning in.
If done consistently, the brain will be less stimulated and recognise when it’s time to relax before sleep.
Take Note of Their Naps
Naps can be a double-edged sword of somewhat. They’re handy for catching up on necessary rest, but it can quickly descend into a vicious cycle.
Keep an eye on how often they nap before bedtime, as a general rule of thumb it should never be longer than an hour. And since their bodies are desperately trying to sync up, if a nap can be avoided, it should.
Keep Them in the Loop
Were you aware of these changes when you were younger? Probably not.
Keeping them in the loop about how their bodies are changing will hopefully make them more aware of why they need to be consistent with their bedtime, and who knows, it may lead to a few less arguments too.
Maybe it’s Time for a New Mattress?
If none of this resonates with you or your tired teenager, maybe it’s the mattress itself that’s causing the problem?
How long ago was it changed? Is it supporting your teen’s body as it develops and grows?
If you have some doubts, take a browse through our selection of mattresses, and maybe we can get your teen to sleep after all.