Adolescence is a phase of life where sleep plays a fundamental role. Good sleep habits ensure proper physical and mental development.
Nighttime sleep duration varies based on age, health status, emotional state, and other factors. Its ideal duration is the one that allows us to do day-to-day activities normally.
How is the dream in adolescence?
Sleep behavior varies throughout life according to biological cycles and environmental factors.
- They sleep more than in previous ages. They need to sleep about 9-10 hours a day. In young adults these needs decrease and they usually sleep about 8 hours a day.
- They tend to go to sleep and wake up later.
- The awakenings during the night decrease in a very important way.
Why is it important to have good sleep habits?
Sleep has a restorative function on our body. While we sleep our body launches a series of processes to regenerate cells and obtain energy. It also increases the production of some hormones such as growth. In addition, sleep plays a fundamental role in the processes of attention, memory and consolidation of learning.
Sleeping few hours or having a poor quality of sleep negatively influences the physical, psychological and behavioral spheres. This is why poor sleep habits will have negative consequences on growth and development, academic performance and social relationships.
How can good sleep habits be maintained?
To maintain good sleep habits it is recommended:
– Know the changes of the adolescent’s sleep. This will help tailor sleep habits to your needs.
– Dialogue with the adolescent about the importance of sleep.
– Create a family environment conducive to sleep in the late afternoon or early evening. The family model is very important.
– Have regular sleep schedules. Even on weekends!
– Avoid compensating for the lack of sleep accumulated during the week by sleeping more on weekends. Sleeping a couple more hours can be good. But getting up at noon on Sunday will make it hard to get back to sleep at your usual time that night.
– Meal times should also be regular.
– Avoid stimulants such as coffee, cola and energy drinks , chocolate…, especially in the afternoon and at night.
– Do physical exercise on a regular basis. It should be avoided in the hours before going to bed.
– Avoid alert activities (study, video games, mobile use ,…) one hour before bedtime.
– Avoid falling asleep with the TV on. Decreases the depth of sleep. It is advisable not to have a TV in the bedroom.
– If you take a nap , it should be short, between 30-45 minutes, and in the early afternoon.
– Tobacco , alcohol and other drugs have harmful effects on sleep and on one’s health in general.
– It is good to learn to relax and express emotions appropriately.