How to Help Your Tween or Teen Get More Sleep
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.
Identify Why Your Child Isn’t Sleeping
Many parents become anxious when they consider their children’s sleeping patterns. That’s because most children don’t get the amount of sleep recommended by pediatricians. This can be due to a variety of factors like stress at home or in school. When it comes to education, there is a lot expected from high schoolers. The stress of it all can interfere with their sleep. Tweens and teens also have a fairly hefty homework load or numerous tests to study for, causing them to stay up late and cram. Finally, bullying may be an underlying cause of a child’s lack of sleep.
Explain the Importance of a Restful Night of Sleep
If you want to know why your child isn’t sleeping, you need to have an honest discussion with them. Ask them if they’re feeling worried and help them overcome their fears so that they can return to a normal sleeping pattern. Many tweens and teens don’t understand just how important sleep is. Your child needs to be aware that a lack of sleep will affect their overall mental and physical health.
Turn Off Electronics and Other Distractions Before Bedtime
Sometimes, the reason tweens and teens aren’t sleeping is because they’re simply distracted. The evolution of technology makes it easier for kids to stay up late after going to bed. That’s why it’s key to set boundaries before bed. Tell your child that the phone must be turned off at least one hour before lights out. The bright light of a phone and constant need to check social media can make it hard for your teen or tween to fall asleep.
Get Into a Pattern
Finally, children need some sort of routine. When a tween or teen gets into the habit of taking late-afternoon naps, it will interfere with bedtime. To combat that, allow short 15-minute naps if they’re exhausted. Try and have the same bedtime set for your child during the week. Make sure that this bedtime allows for the full recommended nine hours of sleep. On weekends, allow them to sleep in without overdoing it.
Getting the full recommended amount of sleep is crucial for the development of your teen or tween, and following these tips will help them get there the healthy way.
Do you have more questions about raising healthy tweens and teens? Talk to staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!