5 Tips for Teens to Get Better Sleep Tonight


Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? A satisfying trip to slumberland is good for your health and reduces stress.

But is your teen getting enough? The National Sleep Foundation recently issued updated recommendations for how much shut-eye you need. Teens, ages 14-17, should be getting 8 to 10 hours each night.

Share these tips with your teen to help them get the ultimate snooze!

Don’t stay up late to study.

Procrastination can be difficult to combat. Chances are you’ve found yourself staying up late to study instead of going to bed. Studies show sleep helps you understand and remember information and grades suffer when you skip out on sleep. If you think you absolutely need to study more, try setting an earlier alarm and studying in the morning instead.

Don’t sleep right by your phone.

Sleeping with your smartphone nearby results in 21 minutes less sleep each night. If your phone is easy to reach, you’ll probably end up using it when you should be dreaming. Plus, the radiation from your smartphone may actually be harmful to your health. Try putting your phone out of reach before you want to go to sleep.

Set a tech curfew.

Even if your phone is out of reach, you may be tempted to get up and check it when you hear it buzz. Decide what time is best for you to stop looking at screens for the day. Our blogger, Amy Lauren Smith, suggests turning your phone on airplane mode. Your texts and other notifications won’t come through until you turn airplane mode off in the morning. If you use your phone as an alarm, don’t worry. The alarm will still go off on airplane mode.

Create a bedtime routine.

Bedtimes aren’t just for babies. Having a routine bedtime will cause your body to prepare for sleep around that time each night. Plus, a consistent sleep schedule will make you less groggy throughout your day. Set a time you deem appropriate for your daily schedule and stick to it.

Use your desk for working and your bed for sleeping.

Getting into bed to do homework, read, or check social media may be tempting. After all, your bed is likely one of the most comfortable spaces in your home. But getting into to bed should be a trigger for sleep, not other activities.

For more about the importance of sleep, check out “The Teen Who Woke Up Her School.” The story was featured in the September issue of Choicesa teen health, well-being, and life skills magazine.