Note from Daniel: This is a guest post by Sarah Cummings.
Does your teen get enough sleep?
Scientists recommend that teens get more sleep per night than adults, but many of them get less.
In fact, around 85% of teens are sleep deprived.
As parents, we should take this fact seriously, because sleep is important for physical health, brain function and learning.
So here are 10 tips for parents to help teens get a better night’s sleep…
1. Respect your teens’ different rhythms
Teens experience a shift in their circadian rhythms, because of a delayed release of melatonin compared to adults.
Because of this shift, they may not get sleepy until later than you do.
Based on their natural circadian rhythm, they might not go to bed until midnight. If they get the full dose of their recommended hours in, this will cause them to sleep in until 9 am or 10 am.
Of course, this sleep schedule doesn’t work during school days. So they’ll need to shift their sleep schedule gradually – which is what we’ll talk about next.
2. Establish a routine
Talk to your teens and create a routine that you’re both agreeable to.
If your teens are sleeping too late on school nights, the changes need to be made little by little.
If they’re used to going to bed at 1 am, they won’t suddenly be able to fall asleep at 9:30 pm.
As such, you can try to shift their bedtime forward gradually, e.g. 10 minutes earlier each day.
Once your teens are going to bed at the ideal time, try to ensure that they stick to this bedtime during the week and on weekends, too (or as close to it as possible).
This way, their sleeping patterns won’t be affected too much.
If your teens don’t sleep enough on weekdays, they’ll accumulate “sleep debt”. This will make them more likely to break out in pimples, since insufficient sleep is linked to acne and other forms of skin irritation.