Teenagers have a reputation for sleeping for vast amounts of time, be it day or night, but you might wonder “is all that sleep is really necessary?”.
The short answer is yes. As you grow older the amount of sleep that you need changes, with infants and newborns requiring the most amount of sleep and senior adults requiring the least.
The NHS recommends that teenagers get at least 8-9 hours of good sleep each night, which is slightly more than the 7-9 hours sleep they recommend for adults.
This might not seem like much of a difference, but that extra hour can really be needed for the proper development and recharging of a younger person.
My teenage child sleeps for longer than 9 hours
While 8-9 hours is recommended by the NHS, this number is suggested as a minimum. The Sleep Foundation suggests that the a healthy amount of sleep for a teenager should normally fall between 8-10 hours, with 7-11 hours encompassing the outer limits of what is an appropriate amount of sleep. See the below for an illustration taken from The Sleep Foundation website which might simplify this for you.
My teenage child is often tired
If your teenage child is getting between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night but are still feeling overly fatigued, then the the quality of sleep they are getting could be poor.
There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep, such as reducing exposure to screens before bed, limiting late night eating, and developing a regular sleep routine. This means trying to avoid long lie-ins at the weekend, as it can seriously disrupt your sleep cycle, and leave you feeling the effect come Monday morning.
Get Some Exercise!
Exercise can play a major role in improving the quality of your sleep. Firstly it will tire out your body so you actually feel like you need to rest. However, try to avoid doing strenuous exercise immediately before bed as this can sometimes prevent you from falling asleep right away.
Secondly, moderate exercise has been proven to do wonders for people’s mental health. Being active during the day can help to prevent and release tension which might otherwise build up. Keeping your mind free of stress is a sure-fire way to increase the quality of your sleep.
Support for Personal Problems
As our teenage years can be difficult a time, teenagers will often suffer from poor sleep because of anxiety or emotional troubles. While things such as exercise might help relieve tension, if there are larger unresolved issues then you might still suffer from poor sleep.
To help alleviate the strain that these issues put on your sleep, they need to be addressed. This can either be done by speaking parent to child, through a support network of friends and relatives, or through a professional service such as a school counsellor.
The NHS provide some useful information and advice, available here, for speaking to your teenage child about issues which might be troubling them.