I’m A Parent Get Me Out Of Here!
Has your teen turned into a night owl?
Do you find yourself arguing with your teenager because they want to stay up late on a school night? Maybe they want to watch the latest Reality Show? I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is very popular but doesn’t finish until late. Perhaps your child is using social media or gaming late into the night, preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.
Using a device such as a mobile phone or a tablet on an evening can delay the time when your child goes to sleep and can even reduce sleep duration in several different ways:
Blue light emitted from screens replicates sunlight and suppresses the sleep hormone (melatonin), which makes it harder to fall asleep
Notification sounds and lights can disturb sleep and cause kids to wake up several times through the night.
Spending a lot of time staring at a small screen can cause eye strain and trigger uncomfortable headaches.
However, electronic devices aren’t the only things keeping our teenagers up at night. When a child reaches adolescence, their natural sleep pattern begins to change and they naturally fall asleep later, need to sleep for longer, and (despite what you might think) they need that morning lie in.
The Sleep Charity recommends that a child aged 12-18 years needs around 8-9 hours of sleep per day; but with early school start times, increasing homework loads, busy social schedules, and the lure of TV and social media, many of our teenagers are struggling to achieve this sleep goal. 9 hours a night sounds achievable, but teenage bedtimes are creeping later into the night, and many teens are struggling to fall asleep, or stay asleep all night.
How Can I Help My Teen Sleep Better?
Cut out screen time at least an hour before bed.
Set a reasonable bedtime and stick with it, allow for flexibility, but consistency is key.
Let them have a lie in on a weekend!
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