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How to tackle sleep deprivation in teens

We all know that sleep is vital to our health and without it things quickly unravel. From the moment we are born our lives (and those of our parents) revolve around how many hours of sleep we are getting, sometimes to the point of obsession.

Much like babies, during adolescence our biological sleep patterns change meaning we don’t fall asleep until later, making that 6am alarm clock a real killer!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers required between 8-10 hours of sleep a night for their minds and bodies to function at optimal levels but due to lifestyle factors only 15% of teens actually sleep this much.

It’s a well-known fact that teenagers have delayed melatonin secretion at night and then elevated in the morning, meaning their body clocks don’t match their lifestyles with school commitments expecting them to rise early.

So how do we prevent sleep deprivation in our teenagers and help them achieve their best at school and maintain good mental health.

Here are a few helpful ways we can do just that;

1. Allow sleep ins on the weekend

2. Assess your child’s schedule and ask “are they overcommitted”?

3. Make early nights possible by freeing up afternoon activities

4. Make Sundays early to bed night

5. Try to limit screen time within 1 hour of bed

6. Avoid scheduling activities early in the morning

7. Talk to your child about good sleep health (click here for more information on sleep health)

Psychology consultants have a number of Clinical Psychologists who can help with problems associated with sleep deprivation, providing you with practical strategies to get your teen’s sleep back on track. Visit the Brisbane Psychologist page of our website to find out which psychologists practice in adolescent psychology.

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