Sleep for Teens

Sleep for Teens

Did you know that young people need around 9-9.5 hours of sleep each night?  

Sleep problems can have a big impact on our mood, such us making us feel more irritable or low. It can impact on our behaviour, attention, memory and performance at school.  
Good sleep habits (also known as 'sleep hygiene') can help you get a good night's sleep. Healthy sleep is important for your physical and mental health and there are many ways to improve your sleep.  
How do I make my sleep better? 

  • Set a regular schedule by going to bed and getting up the same time every day. Keep track of sleep patterns by using a sleep diary for a couple of weeks to help maintain a regular sleep schedule. There's one in our resources section. 
  • Don't sleep in on weekends. This makes it harder to get back to your sleep schedule during the week.  
  • Limit daytime naps to 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon if you feel you need it.  
  • Avoid screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed. This includes your phone, television, laptop etc. If you are using screens later at night try to use a blue light filter or night light settings.  
  • Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise every day, and do this early in the day, ideally no later than late afternoon. This will help you sleep better and improve your overall health.  
  • Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate) particularly 4 hours before bed. 
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.  
  • Create a friendly sleeping environment by having your room dark, cool (approx 18.3°C) and quiet. Make it a 'device- free zone' and try to keep your bedroom for sleeping only.  
  • Don't eat too much or too little food close before bedtime as this can disrupt sleep.  
  • Make sure you get some sunlight during the day by going outside.  
  • Set up a relaxing bedtime routine. Do something you find calming an hour before bed to wind down such as taking a bath/shower, reading something you like or listening to relaxing music.  
  • If you feel worried or have racing thoughts when you are in bed, write these down. 
  • Get up if you can't sleep. If you're lying in bed awake, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again.  
    The NHS has recommended apps to help improve your sleep see below.

Sleep Diary

NHS Apps for Sleep