Teen Sleep and Tips for Restful Rhythms During Development

As sleep physicians, we know adolescent bodies undergo dramatic changes impacting circadian rhythms. Teens biologically require 8-10 hours of shuteye, yet late school start times and busy schedules disrupt natural rhythms according to studies.

Help your teen establish restful routines optimizing this critical development stage.

Encourage morning sunlight exposure upon waking enhancing alertness throughout the day. Melatonin signaling shifts later as teens grow, so aim for consistent bedtimes and darken evenings with blue light-blocking glasses after sunset according to research.

Avoid screens emitting stimulating wavelengths in the hour before bedtime to promote natural sleepiness.

Establish a relaxing pre-bed routine like journaling, light stretches, herbal tea, or reading instead of stimulating tasks like homework which may interfere with resting, says therapist Lucy. A bedroom environment conducive to rest involves cool, dark conditions and screens-free wind-down time before lights out.

Address stresses through open communication rather than demanding perfection which exacerbates tension. Teach coping strategies like deep breathing, visualizing calm scenes, or writing freely in a journal to release worries, says counselor Ray.

Limit caffeine, sugar, and stimulants too close to bed which disrupt circadian health.

Short morning exercise syncing teenagers’ delayed body clocks aids focus through the day according to circadian specialists. Have them get natural daylight upon waking, even on weekends, avoiding the temptation to sleep in and shift rhythms. Seek compromise if bedtime protests arise to prioritize enough nightly rest.

Encourage naps on weekends catching up on sleep debt if needed. Contact us if persistent issues arise, as undiagnosed sleep disorders may disrupt development requiring medical evaluation. Your teen’s healthy maturation depends on you supporting optimal rest – together we’ll establish habits fostering energetic days and restful nights.

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