Teenagers and sleep go together like mac and cheese! Parents often struggle to get their teenagers to have regular sleeping habits and then despair when they are faced with an exhausted teenager or one that is simply asleep all day.
Trying to strike a balance between letting your teenager rest when they need it, but not letting them waste their days in bed, can be a struggle. Here’s what you need to know…
Should I Let My Teenager Sleep All Day?
No, you shouldn’t let your teenager sleep all day.
Teenagers need more sleep than adults, but it is definitely not a good idea to let your teenager sleep all day.
If your teenager regularly sleeps all day then this could create real problems for them and your family. If they sleep away their day, then they are missing out on having enough time for family occasions, socializing with friends and playing sports or other activities.
Some people are night owls, and will like to stay up later and sleep later, but for teenagers who need to attend class and other obligations, this can be a big problem if it’s left unchecked for too long.
Why Do Teenagers Need More Sleep?
Read more: How much sleep does a 15 year old need?
The average person needs around 8 hours of sleep each night. Teenagers require 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. This is because their bodies and minds are growing quickly and sleep fuels these changes.
Why Do Teenagers’ Sleep Habits Change?
Teenagers experience a biological shift in their ‘circadian rhythm’. This is due to them having a naturally later sleep-wake cycle than younger children. This change means their melatonin- sleep hormone- is released later in the evening (around 11 pm) and drops later in the morning, making it tougher for them to rise early.
How Can I Help My Teenager With Their Sleep?
Let’s face it, raising teenagers can be pretty challenging, and sleep can sometimes be another argument waiting to happen in the home between teens and parents. Some teenagers will need support to build healthy sleeping habits now that they are becoming more independent.
Getting Enough Sleep
You need to help your teen get around 9 hours of sleep every night. They will probably need reminders to go to bed around 10 pm and wake up around 7 am to ensure this. Getting enough sleep is just as important as eating well and exercising.
Talk About The Importance of Sleep
It is a great idea to talk to your teenager about the benefits of getting enough sleep. Be honest and explain how you feel when you have not had enough sleep. Think about how it impacts your day and share examples with them.
Top Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep for Your Teenager
Model good sleep etiquette for your teenager and put your phone as well as theirs away an hour or two before bed. This helps our brains wind down to fall asleep more easily. Encourage your teenager to exercise regularly, but avoid doing it too late at night.
Explain to your teenager the effects of caffeine and discourage them from consuming it from later afternoon onwards and that should help sort everything out and help them to maintain a more stable sleep schedule.
Is It Ever Okay for a Teenager to Sleep All Day?
Sometimes teenagers will need to sleep for longer than usual or even all day. Sleep is the body’s way of recharging and recovering from physical, emotional and mental stresses.
If this is a very once-in-awhile type of thing, where they just need a bit of extra time to recharge, it’s not as serious as if your teen never wants to get out of bed, ever.
Physical Reasons For Day Sleeping
If your teenager has been unwell, rest will be important for their recovery. If your child has had a physical injury, perhaps from sports, then they may need more time in bed during the day to rest. If you are unsure, then seek medical advice to help your teenager recover from their illness or injury.
Emotional Wellbeing and Sleep
If your teenager has been through a stressful experience such as exam season or perhaps difficulties in a friendship or relationship, then more sleep in the short term can help them to get back on track.
There’s something to be said about forcing yourself out of bed to face the day, and sometimes that’s the right move, but sometimes it’s also okay for a teenager to just lay in bed all day and deal with whatever is on their mind.
If it becomes an everyday type of thing, then it’s time to start getting concerned, but if a teenager needs to sleep all day or just stays in bed, sometimes they’re just having a bad day and need some space.
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