Teenagers need to have healthy sleep every night for their development. While on deep sleep, essential body functions and activities in the brain take place. It is recommended that teens should have nine hours of sleep every night. Skimping on sleep can be damaging — even fatal, especially when you're driving. This can make you look older, irritable, and lower productivity. This makes you think, “what is sleep deprivation?”
So, sleep deprivation is triggered by the regular absence of sleep or lower sleep quality. Get consistent on having less than 7 hours of sleep can eventually lead to health effects that can harm your whole body. An underlying sleep disease can also be the reason for this.
Sleep deprivation is a prevalent issue that can have a significant effect on physical and mental health, as well as their performance in school. This may lead to impairment of decision-making function, which can lead to risk-taking behaviors.
For most teenagers, it may be second nature to stay up late to scroll through social media and talk to their friends on phones for hours. Since teenage sleep deprivation is prevalent, the most parent thinks that electronic devices should be blamed. There is also research that links insufficient sleep to health issues varying from obesity to depression and anxiety. Thus, here are the 8 sleep tips on how to reduce sleep deprivation among teens:
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Teenagers need to have at least 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. To achieve this, maintaining a sleep schedule within an hour during normal hours can help you to maintain your circadian rhythm.
Sleeping on weekends and during school breaks, in hours later than usual makes switching back even more challenging — and can lead to more exhausted and groggier. It is also unlikely that catch-up sleep will compensate for the full amount of sleep debt accumulated over a week, and we don't think it's as restorative to the body.
Encourage yourself to do a regular evening routine. Doing the whole same activities in the same order can assist you to fall asleep for an hour or so before bed. Your inner body clock can get accustomed to a fixed routine.
Make your bedroom sleep-friendly
Your bedroom should have a sleep-inducing atmosphere. Experts argue that there is a powerful connection between sleep and bedroom. Although, there are some things that weaken that connection such as electronic gadgets, disruptive light, disturbing noise, and unsupportive mattresses. By the end of the day, the only thing that you should do in your bedroom is sleeping.
Preferably, your bedroom must be dark, quiet, clean and maintained at a temperature between 18°C and 24°C. If you don't have any blackout shades, look for some dense curtains. If there are uncontrollable noise at night, you can consider investing in a double glazing window, or earplugs for a cheaper alternative. Moreover, sleeping on a hybrid mattress can prevent you from tossing and turning at night. Learning how to choose a mattress for your sleeping needs can be a great move to start.
The ideology in the field of sleep hygiene is that you should avoid both napping and caffeine because they can delay your sleep cycle at night. Know how long is a sleep cycle.
Though if you can’t keep your eyes open because of tasks that you need to finish, take a nap instead. This is a short nap for about 15-20 minutes, should be in the afternoon. The key to tactical napping is done it somewhere you are unlikely to fall asleep for extended periods. Avoid doing it on your couch or bed because those areas are extremely comfortable.
Stay away from electronic devices
Electronic devices are completely destructive to your quality of sleep at night. Why is it? They radiate blue light that can keep you wide awake at night. This light can also suppress the production of your melatonin that can prevent you from sleeping.
Since mobile phones are strongly addictive, this can leave you late at night scrolling down a few more pictures on Instagram or read a few more tweets. Social media sites and applications were designed to maintain you commenting, posting, liking, etc. The notifications alerts from these applications can wake you up in the middle of your sleep. The creators of these apps don’t care if you’re getting enough sleep as long as you’re into their apps.
Moreover, they can bring anxiety and frustration before shutting your eye. Since anxiety and stress are infectious, a teenager suffering from stress, or even anxiety can more likely affect their peers. Don’t be afraid of fear of missing out, those Instagram posts will still be there in the morning.
Instead, put it away from your bedroom. You can ask your parents to keep it and put it in do not disturb mode. Tell them to hide it away somewhere you don’t know so you won’t be tempted to get it. This can restrict your notifications at night which can disrupt your good night’s sleep. Though, there are nights that you have to use your laptop to finish your schoolwork. You can consider downloading free software that can restrict your exposure in your screen’s blue light.
More light exposure in the morning, less in the evening
While light exposure in the morning is recommended, it can be a big problem for sleeping at night. The latest research showed that adolescents camping out can reset their circadian rhythm by not bringing digital devices to camping. Try to remove all artificial lights at night for at least one weekend and soak your eyes in the natural morning light. The simplest way to do this is to ban any electronics inside your bedroom.
Moreover, getting an alarm clock that utilizes light is one easy way to wake you up in the morning. The clock begins to increase its light for 30 minutes compared to the standard ones with a loud alarm. This will help you fall asleep quicker at night and get off your bed easily in the morning.
Avoid procrastinating on important tasks
If possible, do everything else that you need to finish such as homework, projects, or reaction paper as soon as you get home. Although you may be tempted to watch Netflix or play mobile games for hours, this will only prevent the momentum going from the school day.
This may seem difficult, but prioritizing your tasks before the deadline can make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Look for a place to relax aside from your bed
One of the insomnia management principles is called stimulus control. If you have sleeping issues, stop doing other things in your bed apart from sleeping.
If you’re juggling homework with eating snacks in your bed, let your parents know that you need a new comfy chair to relax in. This could help you. Before bedtime, relax with smooth music or yoga if you’re stressed. If you can’t relax, seek assistance from your physician.
Simplify your schedule
Teenagers are pushed beyond their capability to finish tasks within a day or week due to over scheduling or the pressure of doing joining activities that can make their resume look good. You need to understand that you can’t do everything all at once. You need to set realistic expectations for yourself as you are entering a new journey in your life – college.