Teens Really Do Need More Sleep
Not being able to get to sleep or to stay asleep can be very distressing for teens especially as they already have so much happening in their lives and so many changes to put up with.
They have to juggle with all the pressures of High School and are busy developing their social lives. They have physical and emotional changes in their bodies to deal with as well.
And added to all of the above is that elephant in the room - screen time. It can be difficult or sometimes even impossible to exercise self-discipline.
How common are sleeping problems in teens?
Here in the UK, research published in 2021 by NHS Digital found that more than a third of eleven- to sixteen-year-olds - as well as the majority of young people aged seventeen to twenty-three - had trouble sleeping.
In the USA, similar research found that seventy three percent of high school students regularly do not get a healthy amount of sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends pre-teens need nine to twelve hours while teens themselves should be getting eight to ten hours of sleep per night.
Unfortunately, older children are governed by a schedule provided by the adult world rather than one that is more compatible with their circadian rhythms, one that points out that they tend to feel tired later and they need to sleep for longer.
In some cases, asking a child to wake up early every morning to get to school in time is like asking the rest of us adults to start work at 4.30 in the afternoon.
Why the demand for sleep products is so high
When teens and others become desperate for sleep, they start to search for sleep products. And as a result, this market has become huge including products such as special pillows, skin care ranges and pillow sprays as well as all sorts of medication.
Our own H-Sleep Aid is the 100% natural solution for a restful night when you have trouble sleeping - whatever your age.
H-Sleep Aid is:
- All natural and safe to use
- Non-habit forming
- Helps to relax and ensure a good night's sleep
- Leaves you feeling refreshed and alert
How to help your teens to sleep
If your own teen has got into the habit of going to bed too late, waking up too early, eating a poor diet, being dehydrated and of course spending a lot of time on their devices, then help is needed. Those devices can play a huge part when they are left on next to the bed all night so that they vibrate with new messages regularly and lead to sleep interruption.
Digital Awareness UK found that some forty two percent of teens keep their phones next to their beds at night.
Parents need to help their teens to get the right habits in place but of course this is not easy.
Sleep Clinics can be very helpful with the current gold standard of treatment for sleeping problems in teens being cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. This involves cognitive restructuring to help change unhelpful thoughts plus an attempt to assess why the patient might be experiencing sleeplessness.
Patients at sleep clinics are encouraged to keep a sleep diary - and to limit their time in the bedroom so that bed equates to sleep rather than the frustration of not being able to doze off and to experiment with muscle relaxation techniques.
The busy mind needs to quieten down.
It is all about achieving balance
This means ensuring your teen starts to fall asleep at roughly the same time every night - and wakes similarly each morning. The more balance, the quicker they develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
While this can be a lot easier to effect in adults, it is worth pursuing in teens too but they have to be willing to engage and achieve the final result. Each teen has those resources to make lasting changes when they really want to.
Those teens with insomnia can get better and they can achieve better sleep patterns - as can we all.