Sleeping well is vital to good health, especially for teenagers. Unfortunately, many teens do not get the sleep that they need because they tend to stay up late at night and need to wake up early for school. Quality sleep is vital for maintaining our overall physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, it can have negative effects on our metabolism, cognition, and immune systems.
When you wake up in the morning, your mind should be alert and your body should feel well-rested. If you have not had enough sleep, or have had poor quality sleep, your body will feel tired and your mind will be foggy.
It is recommended to get about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting less sleep once in a while is not detrimental to you, but sleeping poorly often can be.
How to sleep better?
1. Put away screens half an hour before bedtime
Studies have shown that looking at a screen just before bed can impact the quality of sleep. Blue light from the screen interferes with our body’s natural circadian rhythm which will prevent you from falling asleep. Put the screens away and do a quiet activity instead, such as reading a book.
2. Give yourself some time to unwind and calm down before bed
Trying to go to bed immediately after completing some homework or studies is unlikely to result in good quality sleep. Your brain needs some time to unwind and stop thinking before you sleep, so do a quiet, relaxing activity instead.
3. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning
This routine is helpful as it your body will know when it is time to wind down each day and get ready for sleep. It also helps to regulate your circadian rhythm or what we call our “body clock”.
4. Ensure you have a conducive sleep environment
Try to keep your room as dark as possible, or use a soft eye mask when your sleep. Make sure your room is also as quiet as possible, or use soft ear plugs. More importantly, try to avoid doing any stressful activity such as homework or studying on your bed so that you do not associate your bed with stress.