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Teenagers need eight to tegrowing healthy kids in south west sydneyn hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sleep habits like consistent bed and wake-up times, and reducing screen time at night, are as important as diet and exercise for a teen's health and wellbeing.  


Teenagers experience a shift in their hormones changing their body clock by 1-2 hours. This causes them to be tired later in the night making it harder to get a full night of sleep, especially on school nights. 


A good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep helps teens to manage stress, eat better and improve their thinking, learning and concentration skills. A lack of sleep can cause teens to be moody, gain weight or have poorer wellbeing. Long term impacts of not getting enough sleep include the risk of depression, anxiety or low self-esteem and increased risk-taking behaviours. 


To improve their sleep, your teen can try the following:   

  • Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks in the afternoon and evening.   

  • Avoid smartphones, other devices and excessive light exposure from screens around bedtime.   

  • Have an early night every Sunday.   

  • Choose restful activities during the evening such as reading.   

  • Keep the bedroom dark at night.   

  • Be consistent with sleep and wake times even over the weekend.   

  • Consider how after-school activities like part-time work, homework, sport, and other social commitments might affect sleep.   

  • Follow a sleep and wake routine for at least 4 weeks to help your body associate with the new sleep time.   

  • Increasing physical activity during the day can make you more tired in the evening.   

  • If they find it hard to wind down, try a mindfulness exercise.   

Teenagers who stop using their phone one hour before bed would get an extra 21 minutes per night. 

If your teen is still having problems sleeping, consider talking to your family doctor or local General Practitioner. 

Source: Better Health Victoria; Sleep Health Foundation; Medic G, Wille M, Hemels ME. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nat Sci Sleep. 2017 May 19;9:151-161. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S134864. PMID: 28579842; PMCID: PMC5449130.]