How to Get More Sleep

Sleep Deprived?  Here are some tips that might help. 

Sleep deprivation for teens is a common problem. Academic or social pressures, too much screen time, family stress all add up and can result in less hours of vital rest. But adolescent bodies need a lot of sleep to function at full capacity and develop properly. Not having enough sleep can affect your present but also your future.. The number of hours of sleep recommended for a teenager is between 8 and 10 hrs, so making sure that you clock a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night is one of the most important things you can do to be healthy - physically and mentally!

Things to remember:

  • Sleep plays a critical role in helping our bodies and minds recover and rejuvenate. 
  • It contributes to improvements in learning. 
  • It promotes regulatory functions such as emotional and behavioral control that are critical every day. 
  • It improves our ability to learn new information and form memories (so the more you have a healthy sleep pattern, the more you’re likely to perform well at school tests).
  • It restores neural connections.
  • It assists in
    1. emotional control
    2. decision making 
    3. social interaction

Hopefully, now you understand why sleep is a critical means of self-care. But as teenagers, with everything that you have to do and everything that you’d like to do, it is very hard to be able to sleep that much! We get it. 😔

Here are a few tips to help you - and don’t hesitate to ask your friends for tips as well!

  1. Talk to your parents. If your parents are enforcing a bedtime and you’re struggling to adhere to it, talk to them openly and honestly about it. Your parents need to have full context for why your sleep is being impacted, such as too much homework or other stress-inducing issues and they might be able to work with you to find solutions 
  2. Be honest with yourself about your resistance to a consistent sleep schedule. Sometimes we just don’t like being told what to do. It’s common for teens who don’t feel like they have a lot of autonomy in their lives to deprive themselves of sleep because they feel the need to control something in their world. If that’s an issue for you, try to look for ways where you can exercise your independence in methods that don’t end up harming you in the short and long run.
  3. Make a plan. Once you have identified the real issues at play that are impacting your sleep, write down three or four things you plan to do to remedy it. A common recommendation is no screen time two hours before you go to bed. Not always doable, right? Even adults have a hard time with that one. At least, when you go to bed, put your phone on sleep mode. If you wake up during the night, resist the temptation to go check your phone. By making these simple adjustments, you will see an improvement in your sleep very quickly!

Some things that might help you formulate your plan are identifying: 

  1. The changes you would like to make
  2. The most important reasons for those changes
  3. The specific steps you plan to take; the people who can support you—and precisely how those people can help 
  4. And the challenges or potential barriers to your success—and specifically what you will do when they encounter these difficulties

Sleep well! And please share with us on Instagram the things that worked for you around getting better sleep so we can share them with our community! @giveusthefloor