Adolescents Need More Sleep Than You Think

Some parents may be surprised by the amount of sleep that is recommended for adolescents.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), children 6 to 12 years old require 9 – 12 hours of sleep per 24 hours. Teenagers 13 to 18 years old require 8-10 hours. Research has shown that poor sleep in adolescents can be responsible for obesity as well as emotional, cognitive and behavioral issues.

6 Best Practices for Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to sleep environment and behavior. These six sound strategies can help reduce bedtime resistance, anxiety and overall sleep quantity and quality.

  1. Caffeine – Limit tea, coffee and colas to before noon only, or not at all.
  2. Food – Give enough time for food to digest. Large or spicy meals before bed are sleep disturbers. A light snack before bed is fine.
  3. Exercise – Inactivity during the day can cause difficulty in falling asleep. Even just going for a walk can help. Avoid any exercise directly before bed time.
  4. Environment – The perfect sleep environment is somewhere safe and secure. This should be a space for sleep only. Toys/games or any loud noise is a distraction.
  5. Routine – Stick to a set schedule to help settle and calm down before sleep. Going to the toilet should be the last task before getting into bed.
  6. Technology – Using electronics (television, smart phone, tablets) close to bedtime can make falling asleep a difficult task. The light that electronics produce suppresses the natural hormones that cause sleepiness. For some adolescents, soothing music helps them fall asleep and can be an exception.

Sleep hygiene can vary based on the individual. Test out different routine adjustments to find out what helps the most.

About Austin Oaks Hospital

Austin Oaks Hospital is a welcoming mental health facility that focuses on comprehensive psychiatric services for adults and adolescents. Our warm and home-like environment is located in Austin, TX. Here we have a continuum of psychiatric services for children and adolescents age 12-17 and for adults 18 and older.

We provide amazing treatment that aids with positive self-awareness, personal growth, crisis resolution and social skills. This helps to stabilize symptoms of depression, anxiety and other behavioral health disorders. Some of our services include adult programs, adolescent programs, express therapy and more.

To schedule a no-cost assessment with us or for further questions, please call 512-855-2624.