Sleep is important for your brain, mental health and giving your body the rest it needs to function properly.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to feel their best, but very few actually reach that recommendation.
If that sounds like you and you want to improve your sleep, keep reading. We’re here to help with some of our favorite sure-fire ways to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Get your daily exercise in
Exercise isn’t just important for your cardiovascular health, it is beneficial for a good night’s sleep, too!
Research has proven that regular exercise improves the quality of sleep and helps you fall asleep faster at night. If you want to make sure you’re exercising enough, it’s recommended that teenagers aim for 60-minutes of aerobic exercise every day.
Types of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running, swimming, and cycling.
2. Limit caffeine intake
Caffeine can have a serious impact on the quality of your sleep, especially if consumed within four hours of going to bed.
Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks and helps give you a quick burst of energy. The downside is, you can become reliant on caffeine for energy when you would be better off getting a good night’s sleep instead.
We recommend cutting back on the amount of caffeine consumed during the day and choosing water or herbal tea instead.
3. Don’t go to bed hungry
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats can help you have a more restful night’s sleep. The amount of food in your belly when you go to bed can also have an impact on your sleep, whether you have eaten too little or too much.
If you find yourself hungry during the night, we recommend snacking on something light before bed, like fruit or cereal and milk. We also recommend avoiding eating a heavy meal within one to two hours of bedtime.
4. Avoid using the snooze button
You aren’t alone if you like hitting the snooze button in the morning, many other teens (and adults!) do, too.
Although you might “need” the extra time to wake up in the morning, you are better off setting your alarm for the latest you can wake up in the morning.
“[One of] the main signs of being sleep deprived [is having to] rely on using the snooze button.” – Olivia from Sleeplander
You might miss out on hitting the snooze button, but your sleep will be more refreshing when it’s uninterrupted.
5. Stick with a sleep routine
Daily routines like brushing your teeth, eating a healthy breakfast, or exercising are important for our health and overall well-being. A regular sleep routine is no different and can play a significant role in the quality of your sleep.
We recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekend. We know how fun it can be to stay up late and wake up late when you don’t have to be at school, but it can disrupt your sleep until your body re-adjusts.
Another thing we recommend is including time to wind down, whether it is to listen to relaxing music, drinking herbal tea, or having a warm bath. This will help relax you before bed, making it easier to fall asleep.