Want to make a difference in your teen’s life? Take control of your teen’s sleep habits.
1. Encourage your teen to place their cell phone in a docking station at the end of the day (instead of keeping it in their bedroom).
2. Help your teen view the bedroom as a place to unwind and sleep and not a place to watch movies, study, eat meals, or play. Don’t allow technology, laptops, or TV in your teen’s bedroom after a certain hour.
3. Work with your teen to make their bedroom a peaceful place – an environment they look forward to being in at night (flameless candles on a timer, night lights, etc.).
4. Have your teen take a shower or a relaxing bath before bedtime (instead of playing video games or watching a scary movie).
5. Purchase a clock that displays the time on the ceiling (projection alarm clock). They emit less light in the room, and it’s easy to check the time in the middle of the night.
6. Have your teen drink plenty of water during the day. Place some fresh water bottles in their bathroom. Encourage them to drink water first thing in the morning.
7. Remind your teen not to eat anything with caffeine (including chocolate) a couple of hours before bedtime.
8. Encourage your teen to pay attention to their diet. Balanced meals and proper nutrition feed not only their body, but also their brain.
9. Encourage your teen to choose friends wisely. Healthy friendships produce less drama, chaos, and worry. Worry can rob them of their joy and their peaceful sleep.
10. Encourage your teen to use a “night-time journal.” The journal is a safe place where they can write about their day before going to sleep, releasing their worries and embracing their treasures.
11. Have quality reading options next to their bed. They might actually read if their phone or computer isn’t in their room.
12. Help your teen assess their sleep. Dr. Stephanie Silberman is a sleep specialist. She says that one simple way to know how many hours your teen needs to sleep a night is to watch what time they naturally go to bed and wake up over the weekend. “For instance, if they fell asleep at midnight and naturally woke up at 10 a.m., that means they need 10 hours of sleep and should aim for that number every night.”