Are you a parent who is sick to death of your child sleeping in all the time? Your teenager seems to be the laziest child in the world? It’s not their fault! You’re in the right place, you’re going to get some advice.
Today is all about your teen and sleep.
As a parent it’s your role to guide your kids and make sure you have their best intentions at heart. Lack of sleep can cause hassle and conflict in the home. Good quality sleep is massively important for mental well being, emotional wellbeing and physical well being.
Some interesting facts and research on sleep:
Two thirds of teens get less than 7 hours of sleep per night – that’s not good. They are meant to get 9 or 10.
Why do they sleep in? Its biology. As they grow their melatonin levels start to produce later in the day so your teen doesn’t need to go to sleep as early as they used to. Your child naturally wants to go to sleep later. The problem occurs when their normal day insists that they get up at 6:30am/7:00am to get to school on time. Kids are effectively being deprived of about 3 hours of sleep every night. Your child’s day is not conducive for their mental, emotional and physical health.
So how do we support them?
Firstly, understanding this is massive. It might just mean you don’t get on their back so much. You may point out that your kids are on their phones the entire time – that’s also not good. The light emitted from mobile devices tricks the brain into thinking it’s still day time.
What does a lack of sleep do? It affects your health.
Kids that go to sleep after midnight – they are 24% more likely to get depression. People who get less than 5 hours sleep per night are 21% more inclined to suffer from depression.
Stress levels rocket with a lack of sleep. It puts so much pressure and stress on the mind. Your attention span drops. Their ability to learn drops.
For 1 hour dropped in sleep the mind operates at 2 academic years less. So if a 6th grader lost an hour of sleep – they were actually performing as a 4th grader.
A lack of sleep also leads to riskier behaviour – teens are more likely to drive badly, practice unsafe sex, etc.
How much sleep do we need?
A baby needs 17 hours in 24 hours. Children need 9-10 hours, especially teens as their brains are developing. A fully grown adult needs about 8 hours.
Are you leading by example? As an adult are you getting all the 8 hours you need? Are you sitting on your phone all night?
Getting good sleep leads to more energy, better moods and better decision making. Sleep is your body’s natural way of learning to heal and develop. Let them sleep in when you can – let them redress the balance.
Some tips to help your teen (and maybe you!) get better sleep:
If they go to bed late, they have to get up late. It’s not the end of the world. Try and get them to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Consistency is key.
2. Avoid the snooze button
It confuses your brain and the extra snooze time you get is of poor quality anyway.
3. Have a good breakfast and lower your caffeine levels
4. Eat a carb light lunch
It can help you avoid the afternoon slump.
It gets your endorphins going and lowers stress levels which can affect your sleep. Even light exercise is beneficial.
6. Have a transition period
Start to relax for bed, reduce the use of electronics, slow down.
7. Avoid stimulants
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Avoid using devices – the light from the screens delays the melatonin.
8. Watch your diet
Try not to eat 2 hours before bed and avoid saturated fats.
9. Practice gratitude
Gratitude allows you to calm your mind and focus on the positive. Think of 5 things you are grateful for each day, no matter how small.
All high achievers practice meditation. Just 5 minutes each day to create space in your mind. Just allow your thoughts to pass through. It gives you a positive mindset and helps you calm down.
If you do find yourself waking in the middle of the night – I have a hack which you can find on my app – Teen Toolbox.
It’s the 4-7-8 Technique. You breath in for 4, hold your breath for 7 and release the breath for 8. Do this 4 times to calm the mind and body down.
Sleep well and remember your child isn’t doing this on purpose. It’s biology.
Much Love 💕