How can I help my teenager sleep better?

During sleep, teenage brains go through similar developmental changes as growing toddlers. Their sleep cycle is altering, so they tend to get sleepy later than children or adults.

Good rest is still important, and teenagers need between nine and 10 hours of sleep each night.

How do I know if my teenager isn’t sleeping well?

Signs your teenager may not be getting enough sleep include:

  • Emotional outbursts or low moods.
  • Showing signs of hyperactivity.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Lack of motivation.

You may also get a clue from poor sleep practices. These include eating large meals just before bed, or looking at TV or phone screens until late at night.

If you get in the habit of chatting about how rested they feel, your child may also tell you when they feel overly tired.

Tips for better sleep

  • Encourage them to turn off TV, phone and computer screens an hour before bed – artificial light disrupts sleep.
  • Get them to use the hour before bed to wind down and do something that relaxes them.
  • Encourage them to keep bed for sleeping – help them limit eating, playing games or doing school work in this space.
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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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