With winter break coming to an end I'm sure most of our kids are on a weird sleeping pattern, going to bed at midnight waking up at 10. How does this even happen or go back to normal? How much sleep to our teens even need these days?
How did it go from scheduled nap times, and bed time routines to them going to bed at any ol' time and waking up whenever they wanted?
So how do we get them back on track? How do we help them with good sleep patterns and get them ready for school?
They say sleep helps strengthen a kid's immune system and reduces the risk of infection and illness. Good sleep also helps with concentration, remembering things, managing emotions and overall behaviour. With all of these teens going through body changes and hormones, giving them good sleep habits can only help.
So what are some tips for good sleep?
- Set a lights out time - if your child is 8-13 they should be getting anywhere from 9-11 hours of sleep every day. So if you need to be up by 7am they should have a lights out time of approx. 9pm. *14-18 year olds need approx. 8-10 hours of sleep.
- Relaxing before bed, perhaps this is having shower, or reading a book anything that is calming.
- Limit afternoon naps, we know our teens come home from school and activities and often eat then crash. Try to avoid naps longer than 45 mins to ensure overnight sleep isn't affected.
- Avoid caffeine/sugar - i.e. pop, tea, sports drinks even chocolate.
- Turn off the devices - phones, tablets, TV, gaming systems etc.
- Give them warm blankets or weighted blankets. For girls especially if they are on their periods warm heating pads are great for sleep and period cramps if they have them. My daughter has one she can reheat in the microwave so you don't have to worry about things being plugged in overnight.
- Have a light snack before bed - some great options are a banana with almond butter, kiwi, cheese and crackers, small bowl of cereal (hot or cold but hot is great), trail mix, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, or even edamame! (my kids love edamame)
- Lavender spray helps create a relaxing bedtime environment.
- Exercise, perhaps some yoga before bed or just including any type of physical activity during the day can help with a restful nights sleep.
- Stick to a routine, just because these teens aren't babies anymore encouraging a routine is very helpful for their body mind and soul. *even on weekends!
Good luck parents, and teens! Wishing you all a Happy New Year and many restful night sleeps.