Teens need sleep 

Lots of young people find getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking up a real problem. Disrupted, broken or insufficient sleep can really impact on people’s mood and ability to cope with daily life.

Poor sleep can affect mood, causing irritability and heighten emotional reactions. Prolonged poor sleep can be a factor in depression and anxiety. Fortunately, there are many practical ways to develop and improve your sleeping routine and habits.

It is normal that as you grow, to have an increased sleep requirement, you may need between 8-10 hours per night. Good sleep is vital for your mental, physical, social and educational development.

Your bedrooms needs to be at a comfortable temperature (16-20°C).

Ideally lights off, or at least dimmed. LEDs emit much more blue light than white bulbs and therefore have a greater impact on quality sleep, so ensure these are switched off.

There does not need to be silence, but any noise needs to be at a level that it does not disrupt sleep.

Avoid screen use (including TV, mobile phones, tablets and computers) an hour before bed and have a no screens in bedroom.

Avoid caffeinated or high sugar products, such as fizzy drinks, sweets and tea, particularly during the afternoon and evening.

If you are hungry, have a snack. Try to have snacks as early as possible and opt for a snack high in fibre and/or protein (rather than sugar or carbohydrates).

Try to get as much natural light as possible in the day, especially in the morning, fresh air and exercise help us sleep better.

If you're feeling anxious it may help to write down worries in a diary or to talk about them.

Try to keep a regular bedtime routine to get your body into a rythm.

Have some wind-down time reading, having a bath, or listening to something relaxing.

Avoid - Tech before...

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health recommend that children avoid looking at screens such as phones, tablets or computers in the hour before bed to reduce disruption to their sleep.

Calm and Relaxing room 

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Avoid -  Foods before bed

Eating certain foods too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. These include spicy foods, fried and fatty foods, acidic foods, Carbonated and caffeinated beverages. If you need a bedtime snack, choose foods like bananas, nuts and seeds or dark chocolate. Just be sure to keep it light.

What you can do to get to sleep and stay asleep

Avoid stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, sugary drinks or foods. This includes avoiding technology like phones, tablets, TV etc.

  • Doing some exercise or activity during the day
  • Make sure you’re as organised as you can be for the day ahead so that you are not worrying or thinking about what you have to do or what you might need
  • Try not to nap during the day
  • Make sure you have something to eat for dinner, you will find it harder to sleep if you are hungry or thirsty
  • Have a regular night time routine; do things roughly in the same order at the same time each night to get your body and mind ready for sleep
  • Try to wake up at the same time, even on weekends
  • Create a calming and peaceful environment. Rooms that are dark and cool are best for sleep
  • Avoid using your bed for studying, reading or listening to music. Your bed should be used for sleeping
  • Sometimes having a warm milky drink (such as hot chocolate) can help
  • Take a warm (not too hot) bath or shower

Sometimes people find it hard to sleep because they have many thoughts going round in their mind. We would recommend reading our advice on anxiety and depression sections of this website for ideas of strategies which might help you manage these thoughts.

Remember; being tired is as dangerous as drunk driving. Sleep loss can impact on concentration and your judgement times, so if you are tired, do not drive.

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