Simple Tips and Recommendations to Improve Teen Sleeping Habits

Common Sense Advice for Better Sleep

Teens are often subject to the same pressures as adults that can greatly disrupt their sleep, so it can be important to follow simple tips to improve teen sleeping. Discover some recommendations to improve teens' sleep and resolve insomnia through common sense advice about habits.

1
Keep a regular sleep schedule.

Keep a regular schedule to improve teens' sleep
Keep a regular schedule to improve teens' sleep. paul mansfield photography/Moment/Getty Images

It is tempting to stay up late or sleep in, but just as in adults, it is important to keep a regular sleep schedule. By getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends, we condition our body to know when to sleep. Start by fixing your wake time in place and get 15 to 30 minutes of morning sunlight upon awakening. Go to bed when you feel sleepy, even if it means staying up a little later, to avoid insomnia.

2
The bedroom should be a place for sleeping.

Remove electronics including computers, televisions, and phones to improve teens' sleep
Remove electronics including computers, televisions, and phones to improve teens' sleep. Yiu Yu Hoi/Getty Images

Our lives are filled with stimulating electronics, but these should be removed from the bedroom. Televisions, gaming systems, computers, telephones, portable music players, and other gadgets should not be used in the bedroom. The noise and screen light can stimulate our brains and keep us awake. The bedroom should be kept quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable so as to encourage sleep. It is best if you use the space only for sleep.

3
Take some time each night to wind down.

Relax before bed by reading, listening to music, or watching a movie to improve teens' sleep
Relax before bed by reading, listening to music, or watching a movie to improve teens' sleep. Getty Images

Spending a little time relaxing before bed can improve sleep. Develop quiet sleep rituals to do in the 15 minutes before going to bed. These might include reading, listening to relaxing music, watching a favorite movie, or taking a nice bath. This time to unwind will mentally prepare you for sleep.

4
Take care about exercise, meals, and use of sleep-disrupting substances.

Avoid caffeine, exercise, and alcohol too close to bedtime to improve teens' sleep
Avoid caffeine, exercise, and alcohol too close to bedtime to improve teens' sleep. Getty Images

Exercise may be a great way to stay in shape and be healthy, but it should be avoided in the four hours just before bed. Otherwise it may make you too alert to drift off to sleep. Likewise, late-night eating can disrupt sleep and may cause nighttime heartburn. Therefore, dinner or snacks should occur roughly at the same time each day and preferably hours before going to sleep.

Furthermore, teens should stay away from caffeine in the evening. This means not consuming foods such as soda pop, tea, coffee, and chocolate. Caffeine works as a stimulant and will keep you awake. Nicotine and alcohol can fragment sleep as well and because of other bad health effects should be avoided entirely in teens.

5
Make sleep a priority and if there are problems, get help.

Make sleep a priority and get help from a sleep doctor if needed to improve teens' sleep
Make sleep a priority and get help from a sleep doctor if needed to improve teens' sleep. Getty Images

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to recognize how important sleep is to your health. It is easy to cut back on sleep to do things that we enjoy, but this can have significant negative consequences. For example, sleep loss is associated with gaining weight. There are also certain sleep disorders that may first appear in the teenage years, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and circadian rhythm disorders. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, or are feeling too tired during the day, it is important to get help from a medical professional such as your doctor.

Continue Reading