Healthy sleep routines are necessary for children of all ages and is vital for their development. When your teen has an unhealthy sleeping routine, they become deprived of good sleep, which will affect their mood, relationships, education, and eating habits. Not getting enough sleep affects multiple aspects of your teen's life.

Here are four tips for how your teen can get the amount of sleep they need to avoid the consequences of sleep deprivation:

 

  • Keep up a consistent sleep routine. A sleep routine conditions the brain to be aware of when it is bedtime. When you establish a consistent routine, your body will learn to anticipate your pre-bedtime activities and start winding down for sleep at the appropriate time.
  • Take a nap when needed. A nap can be the perfect pick-me-up. Make sure your teens plans their nap for a time that's not too close to their typical bedtime. A twenty minute nap in the afternoon will provide them with a good energy boost to keep them going through their evening activities.
  • Steer clear of late nights on the weekend. Just because your teen might not have anything to get up in the morning for doesn't mean they should stay up late and sleep in the next morning. Staying up late one or two nights on the weekend and sleeping in late for a couple days will mess up their sleep schedule and take them back to square one! It might not seems harmful, but the key to a healthy sleep schedule is consistency! 
  • Sleep in a dark environment. Light triggers the brain to stay awake. Make your teen's bedroom as dark as possible to encourage their brains to go into "sleep mode"! Use blinds or curtains over the windows to minimize light from streetlights or headlights on cars passing by. Don't use shades that are too thick though, or else in the morning not enough light will get in to wake them up.

What are some things that you and your teen do to establish a healthy sleep schedule?