Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

As your child grows older and becomes a teenager, you’ll notice them going to bed later and sleeping fewer hours. Although teenagers need less sleep than younger children, it’s still important to their growth and development that they get enough sleep.

Just 15% of teenagers get the recommended amount of sleep. Find out from pediatric care specialists Rainilda Valencia, MD, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, how much sleep your teen needs and how to help them get enough.

The importance of sleep for teenagers

Getting the right amount of sleep is important throughout life. During the teen years, adequate sleep helps your child’s continued physical maturation during puberty and as they enter young adulthood.

Like children and adults, teens who get enough sleep tend to have more energy, better moods, and sharper, more engaged minds. Lack of sleep can lead to several increased risks in teenagers, including:

Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep can also have worse academic performance than teens who get enough sleep.

How much sleep do teens need?

The CDC recommends teenagers 13-18 years old get between 8-10 hours of sleep. If your teen gets less than 8 hours of sleep, they’re considered to not be getting enough rest.

Whether your child needs closer to 8 or 10 hours of sleep depends on their individual and lifestyle needs. Encourage your teen to get at least 8 hours of sleep, and let them sleep more if they’re still tired.

Helping your teen get enough sleep

Teenagers can experience barriers to getting adequate sleep. Many teenagers are night owls and have a difficult time falling asleep until late at night, then struggle to wake up to start school early in the morning. Electronic light exposure, social activities, and keeping up with schoolwork can also make sleeping more difficult.

You can help your teen get at least eight hours of sleep with the following measures:

Choose a consistent bedtime

With your teenager, choose a bedtime that works for your family. Aim to have your teen stick as closely as possible to that bedtime every night, even on weekends.

Limit screen use before bedtime

Exposure to the light on electronic screens, including phones, TVs, computers, and tablets, can make it harder for your teen to fall asleep at night. Agree to a time that your child will stop using electronic devices, ideally at least 60-90 minutes before bedtime.

Instead of using screens, help your teenager develop relaxing routines before bed like taking a bath, journaling, reading a book, or another quiet activity.

Create a positive sleep environment

Make your teenager’s bed and bedroom as comfortable, cool, and dark as possible to encourage restful sleeping. Get our teen involved in choosing a mattress and pillow that suits their needs.

Reduce caffeine

Your teenager should be drinking as little caffeine as possible. Caffeine should be avoided completely in the afternoon and evening.

Eat healthy and exercise

Encourage your teenager to start an exercise routine doing activities they enjoy. Try to have them avoid heavy physical activity two hours before bedtime.

Your teen should eat dinner more than two hours before bedtime and avoid eating heavy foods shortly before going to sleep.


If your teenager continues to have difficulty sleeping, or if you need support coming up with the best routine as a family, contact us by calling Valencia Pediatrics today for advice and support.

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