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Sleep Tips for Teenagers

Sleep Tips for Teenagers

Establishing a Sleep Routine

As a parent, you’ve watched your child grow from energetic toddler to a seemingly lethargic teenager. It’s not just their attitude that’s changed – their sleep patterns have too! At weekends your teenager snoozes through the alarm until noon, whilst most nights they’re wired till the early hours. It can be difficult to know if they’re getting too much sleep, not enough, or just on an odd schedule.

Why Does My Teenager Sleep So Differently?

Adolescence brings more than just mood swings. Hormones and brain development trigger significant changes in your teen’s sleep needs:

  • The Circadian Shift. During puberty, teenagers’ internal clocks change, making them naturally inclined to stay up later and sleep in.
  • • Brains Under Construction. Teenage brains are busy rewiring, and sufficient sleep is vital for development and learning.
  • • Blue Light and Busy Schedules. Screens, late-night studying, and social lives disrupt teen sleep cycles even more.

Strictly Beds & Bunks - Your Sleep Partners

At Strictly Beds & Bunks, we’ve been helping parents create the perfect sleep environments for children and teens for over two decades. We understand how important restful sleep is for growing minds and bodies. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the causes of changing sleep patterns in adolescents and offer sleep tips for teenagers to help concerned parents support their growing children through this phase in their lives.

How Much Sleep Does My Teen Need?

Studies show that an average of 9 hours of sleep is ideal for teenagers’ mental health and well-being. The National Sleep Foundation makes the following recommendations, showing a decrease in sleep needs as adolescence progresses:


  • • 9 to 11 hours for 6- to 13-year-olds
  • • 8 to 10 hours for 14- to 17-year-olds
  • • 7 to 9 hours for 18- to 25-year-olds

Creating Healthy Sleep Routines - How Parents Can Help

Understanding what’s happening in your teenager’s brain and body goes a long way in explaining those strange sleep habits. While some changes are unavoidable, you can be a powerful source of support in helping them navigate this phase. One of the best ways to do this is by establishing consistent sleep routines.

Our sleep tips for teenagers are designed to help guide your teen toward healthier sleep habits:


  • • The Power of Light. Encourage your teen to get plenty of natural light, especially in the morning. This helps regulate their internal clock for optimal sleep cycles.
  • • Dim the Lights. Before bed, suggest keeping the lights low to boost melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone.
  • • Emphasis on Exercise. Regular physical activity promotes better sleep patterns. Aim for morning and afternoon workouts, as exercising too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect.
  • • Curb the Caffeine. Remind your teen that caffeine and sugary drinks after lunch can linger in the body and disrupt sleep. Even chocolate and green tea contain caffeine!
  • • No Naps, Consistent Sleep Times. Discourage daytime naps and help your teen stick to regular sleep and wake times, even on weekends. This trains their brain to recognise when it’s time to rest.
  • • Unwind and Disconnect. Work together to create a relaxing pre-bed routine that’s screen-free for at least an hour before sleep. Bedrooms should be cool, dark, and dedicated to sleep (no daytime phone use or gaming in bed).
  • • Mindfulness Matter. If your teen is open to it, suggest using a mindfulness app like to learn calming techniques. Practicing mindfulness during the day makes those techniques easier to apply at night without screens.


It takes time to form new routines. Be patient, understanding, and focus on working with your teen.

Understanding the Teenage Sleep Shift

As your teenager enters puberty, their body clock undergoes a significant change. This means that their most natural bedtime might shift much later, even as late as 11 PM or midnight. While it’s possible to fall asleep a bit earlier than that, it’s incredibly difficult to force sleep much earlier due to those changing internal rhythms. It’s a little bit like jet lag – their brain’s clock is just set to a different time zone.


This biological change means that parents must adjust their expectations. It’s likely that, for the first time, your teenager will be staying up later than you! Negotiating a new bedtime that works for both of you can be really helpful, as forcing your teen to sleep when their body isn’t ready can be counterproductive.

What if I Can't Fall Asleep?

If your teen finds themselves tossing and turning because their body just isn’t ready for sleep, it’s important to have a plan. Lying in bed frustrated and anxious will only make falling asleep harder.


Encourage your teen not to stress about falling asleep instantly. Instead, reassure them that sleep will come eventually. Avoid watching the clock or trying to force themselves to sleep, as this can worsen the anxiety.


If after 20-30 minutes, sleep still seems impossible, suggest getting out of bed and doing something relaxing, like reading or listening to music (although phones should be avoided). Then, after 15-20 minutes, they can try again. This may seem counterintuitive, but it can trick their brain by distracting them, giving natural sleepiness a better chance to kick in.

Creating a Space for Sleep

A supportive mattress and a relaxing sleep environment play a crucial role in promoting quality sleep. As your teenager grows, their comfort needs may change. Here are some things to consider:


  • • Mattress Checkup. Ensure your teen’s mattress is in good condition and offers proper support. Remember, a comfortable mattress can go a long way towards promoting restful sleep.
  • • Bedroom Bliss. A cool, dark, and quiet space is ideal for sleep. Encourage your teen to keep screens away from the bedroom and invest in blackout curtains if necessary.
  • • Bunk Bed Bonus. For teenagers who love sleepovers, a bunk bed can be a fun and space-saving solution. Strictly Beds & Bunks offers a wide variety of bunkbeds styles and configurations to suit any teenager’s needs and preferences.

Sweet Dreams for Your Teenager

Remember, a good night’s sleep is vital for your teenager’s physical and mental health. By understanding the changes their body is undergoing, establishing healthy sleep routines, and creating a comfortable sleep environment, you can help your teen get the rest they need to thrive.

Visit our website to explore our selection of mattresses, beds, and bedroom furniture designed to promote quality sleep for teenagers of all ages or contact us for suggestions.