Sleep Tips for Kids & Teen Students

By 9/30/2021 08:54:00 PM ,

The start of Fall means changes to our sleep schedule. Whether for back to school or the seasonal time change, making sure we get enough sleep is key to our well being. Especially for kids and teens, who try to delay sleep as long as possible.

To help kids and teens develop better sleep habits, here are a few solutions + tips.

Sleep Tips for Kids and Teen Students

  • Instead of scrolling through social media, listen to soothing music or do other relaxing activities to wind down at night. This will signal to your mind and body that it’s time to rest.

  • Avoid bright light exposure at night, especially blue light. Electronic screens emit blue light, which affects your internal clock. Use blue light filters or invest in a pair of effective blue light blocking glasses like Swannies.

  • Keep a consistent bedtime. It’s not always easy but do your best to get in the habit of going to bed at the same time every night, at least 8 hours before your regular wake-up time.

  • In the morning, expose yourself to daylight. Try combining this with physical activity, like taking a walk in the sunshine, to feel more alert during the day and sleep better at night.

  • Exercise does wonders for your health and mood, but for the sake of your sleep try to avoid exercising late in the evening. Being active will arouse your body, when you should be winding down.

  • Keep in mind that caffeine takes hours to leave your body. To prevent caffeine from interfering with your sleep, stop consuming it by 2pm or use non-caffeine tea.

  • Eating close to bedtime keeps your body busy digesting food, which can disrupt your sleep. If you really want a bedtime snack, keep it small.

  • Use the SleepScore App to become aware of your own sleep patterns and get personalized recommendations for improving your sleep.

Another tip to consider is possibly delaying the school starting time.

According to an article on the SleepScore website:

The Latest Sleep Research: Delayed School Start Times and the Impact on Children and Teens

Chronic sleep deprivation is a critical threat to the mental and physical development, academic potential, and safety of children worldwide. Delaying school start times (no earlier than 8:30 AM) has been identified as an essential modifiable public policy that can improve childhood learning, development, and health and wellness.

By requiring students to go to sleep early and wake up early for school, we are placing them in a perpetual “social jet lag”’ – teens’ internal clocks do not match up with their social time.

Teens will often fall asleep late (1 AM) and wake up early (6 AM), thereby restricting their total sleep time and worsening their sleep deprivation. Since teens require at least 8-9 hours of sleep a night, there are cascading mental and physical consequences to this social jet lag.

With less than 20% of schools starting at 8:30 AM or later, recent research looked at the feasibility and effectiveness of delaying school start times to improve sleep in adolescents and children.

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