In the past couple of weeks, I have done a lot of research on teens and sleep for a health project. I’m writing this article to inform Memorial students about the benefits of sleep as well as strategies to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Most students are unaware that they should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. 70% of teenagers don’t get enough sleep. This makes sense considering asking a teen to be up and alert at 7:30 a.m. is like asking an adult to be active and alert at 5:30 a.m. Getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep has endless benefits. For example, teenagers who get enough sleep have final grades that are on average 4.5% higher. Lack of sleep is also associated with tardiness, absences, lower graduation rates, higher risk of vehicle crashes, and lower grades. Sleeping the recommended amount of time has been proven to reduce all of these behaviors.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Here are some strategies to help you fall asleep and stay asleep: try to go to sleep and wake around the same time every day, even during the weekend. Avoid caffeine and nicotine 3 to 6 hours before bedtime. Eat foods that contain tryptophan (bananas, peanut butter, etc.) to help you fall asleep. Try to not take naps after 3 p.m. Reading a book before bed can also make you feel sleepy. Write down all your worries before bed that might keep you up and deal with them before your head hits the pillow.
By Emily Ruplin