Are you and your family dealing with “the summer shift?” This is the nickname for the way teenagers tend to stay up later over the summer, throwing off their sleep schedules. Some parents get frustrated trying to get their kids back on track in time for school, but the problem is more complex than they might realize. How much sleep do teenagers need?
How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need?
Do your teenagers complain about not getting enough sleep? They aren’t alone. In fact, nearly 73 percent of teens report having sleep issues. Sometimes parents are surprised to hear this, especially if they’re used to their teenagers sleeping in on the weekends and on vacation. How much sleep do teenagers need? It turns out, more than we think!
Teenagers Need More Sleep Than Adults
If your teens brag about staying up all night to their friends, you may think that they just don’t need as much sleep as you. However, the opposite is true. According to sleep experts, teenagers should be sleeping for at least nine hours a night. This is because sleep is the time when your body rests and recharges from daily exertion. Teenagers are not only dealing with everyday issues, but they’re also going through hormonal changes and other bodily changes on the road to adulthood. As a result, they need more rest than an adult who has reached maturity.
A Shifting Circadian Rhythm Can Make Sleep a Challenge
If teenagers need more sleep, why don’t they just go to bed earlier? If only it was that simple. Parents can get frustrated with the endless back-and-forth of trying to get drowsy, grumpy kids to school on time. Or worse, trying to convince them to put their phones away and turn out the light at a reasonable hour for sleep. These parents may be comforted to learn that their kids are not trying to make their lives difficult. Instead, they are just responding to a natural hormonal shift in their bodies that sets a new circadian rhythm for their adulthood. As their bodies adjust, feeling more awake late at night and struggling to wake up in the morning is extremely common. Better sleep hygiene can make the transition easier for parents and children alike.
How Can I Help My Teenager Get the Sleep They Need?
So you know teenagers need more sleep than adults, and you also know that the ways their bodies are changing makes that sleep even more challenging to get than usual. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways a concerned parent can help teenagers get all the sleep they need:
- Talk to your kids about sleep hygiene. Encourage them to set a bedtime and wake-up time, and reward them for sticking to it. If they learn to take responsibility for their sleep schedules now, they’ll take that habit into adulthood.
- Take away the temptation to stay up by observing a “bedtime” for electronic devices as well. Have a set time in the household that devices need to be turned off, and enforce it. If the lure of having a cell phone in the bedroom is too much for your teenagers to resist, have them keep their phones in a central room in your home.
- Talk to your teens about their schedules. Between friends, family, school commitments, and other priorities, it can be difficult to make time for sleep. Have a conversation with them about taking care of themselves and prioritizing rest when they need it. Let them make their own decisions about their schedule, and trust their judgment (within reason).
- Make sure they’re sleeping on a good mattress. If they’ve been sleeping on the same twin-sized mattress since they were ten, they may be due for an upgrade! Growing, changing bodies need support and comfort to be able to rest properly. If your teen complains of back or neck pain or says they frequently toss and turn, try rotating their mattress. If that doesn’t help, talk to a mattress professional.
How much sleep do teenagers need? Nine hours of good sleep should be enough for most, but it might take a little work to make that a reality. Why not give yourself an advantage with the right mattress?
If it’s time to give your teenager a mattress upgrade, look no further than Beautyrest Sleep Gallery. We provide an extensive selection of top-quality mattresses, including Beautyrest®, Serta iComfort®, Tempur-Pedic®, and Scandinavian Sleep Systems. A family-owned and -operated business that supports local charities, Beautyrest Sleep Gallery offers free local delivery and setup as well as a Best Price Guarantee. Please visit us in store or explore our mattress selection online.