Importance of Sleep

Teen Healthy Body – Sleep

What to Know About Sleep

Written by Joshua Roland, M.D., FAASM

Sleep is crucial to feel your best, perform at your best, be healthy, and grow. Not getting enough sleep can cause you to feel tired, have trouble focusing, negatively affect your mood, and even set you up for health problems. The adolescent years can be a challenging time in life where you are balancing many different things, including changes in your body, schoolwork, social life, activities, and figuring out future plans. With all this going on, it is important to make sure you still are getting enough sleep — to feel your best and to be healthy. Research studies have shown that getting a good night’s rest can help you perform better at school, sports, and activities, as well as improve your physical and mental health and well-being.   

So how much sleep do I need?

Sleep may have been easy as a child, but many young people find that they now have to be more mindful about their sleep habits to get a good night’s rest. So what is considered a good night’s rest?  

  • Early teens: 9-10 hours of sleep a night
  • Older Teens: 8-10 hours of sleep a night
  • Adults: 7-9 hours of sleep a night

The preteen and teen years are an important time to set yourself up to have good sleep habits to last the rest of your life. Investing some thought into your sleep now can really benefit your current goals as well as your long-term success!

How to develop a healthy sleep routine 

Developing a healthy sleep routine is important to start working on as a preteen or teen. Sleep habits you develop now can set you up to have better sleep the rest of your life. Having set behaviors you do each night can help your body and mind know it is time to sleep. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, and showering in a set pattern can help you get ready for bed. Your mind also needs time to unwind and get sleepy (almost bored) before you can go to bed. Putting away overly stimulating things such as phones, computers, video games, and school work an hour or two before bed can help you get to sleep easier. Engaging in relaxing activities such as light reading, mindfulness, meditation, or even just stretching can get the body and mind in a calm state to help you fall asleep.  

3 Natural ways to promote sleep

#1 – Keep Bed & Wake Time the Same Every Day

In addition to developing a good wind-down routine, keeping your bed and wake time the same every day, including the weekends, can help keep your biological clock in sync. And this helps your body and mind know what time you should be resting.

#2 – Don’t Use Your Bed as a Place to Hang Out

Another great way to promote sleep is keeping your bed as a space only designated for sleep. Many people will “hang out” in their bed. Whether spending time on devices, talking with friends, watching TV, or doing schoolwork, any time you spend in bed that is not related to sleep confuses our subconscious as to what we are supposed to be doing in that space. Avoiding activities in bed that are not sleep related can help our bodies and minds know to feel tired and sleepy when in bed.

#3 – Get Exercise During the Day and Limit Fluids Before Bed

Also, making sure we get enough exercise during the day, limiting fluids 2 hours prior to bedtime, and making that last bathroom run before jumping into bed can help us get a good night’s rest.