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Sleep tips for teens

Maintain a regular sleep routine

As teenage psychical and psychological development involves a great deal of physiological and mental change, teens require a great deal more sleep than they previously did as children. Regular sleep routines are important, allowing the body to get into the pattern of having times that it uses for rest.
Don’t stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 minutes

If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, get out of bed, and sit in a chair in the dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy, then return to bed. No TV or internet during these periods! That will just stimulate you more than desired. If this happens several times during the night, that is OK. Just maintain your regular wake time, and try to avoid naps.
Technology or reading in bed

If you are mentally active in bed, you associate the bed with wakefulness. Avoid watching TV; using other devices such as laptops, phones or tablets; or reading in bed. These often have the effect of stimulating your mind. This isn’t helpful in bed, as you want it to be a place where your mind can rest. It may be good for parents to monitor or remove phones during the night, in discussion with their teens. Whilst your teen might be trying to get to sleep, others might be trying to stay awake.
Do not drink caffeine inappropriately

The effects of caffeine may last for several hours after ingestion. Caffeine can fragment sleep, and cause difficulty initiating sleep. If you drink caffeine, use it only before noon. Remember that soft-drinks and tea contain caffeine as well.
Avoid inappropriate substances that interfere with sleep

Cigarettes, alcohol, and over-the-counter medications may cause fragmented sleep.
Exercise regularly

Exercise before 2 pm every day. Exercise promotes continuous sleep. Avoid rigorous exercise before bedtime. Rigorous exercise circulates endorphins into the body which may cause difficulty initiating sleep.
Have a quiet, comfortable bedroom

Set your bedroom thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Generally, a little cooler is better than a little warmer. Turn off the TV and other extraneous noise that may disrupt sleep. Background ‘white noise’ like a fan is OK. If your pets awaken you, keep them outside the bedroom. Your bedroom should be dark. Turn off bright lights. Collaborating with Greenslopes Paediatrics Suite 3F Lobby Level, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate St, Greenslopes T (07) 3177 2000
F (07) 3177 2001
If you are a ‘clock watcher’ at night, hide the clock.

Have a comfortable pre-bedtime routine

Source: Developed from material circulated by the American Sleep Association (2007) Collaborating with Greenslopes Paediatrics Suite 3F Lobby Level, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate St, Greenslopes T (07) 3177 2000
F (07) 3177 2001


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