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Teens

Four Ways to Help Your Teen Wake Up Refreshed

Tired of battling with your adolescent to rise on time every morning? Teach these healthy habits now for a lifetime of better sleep. If getting your teen to go to bed at a reasonable hour feels like an uphill battle, rest assured it’s not just your child’s willful assertion of independence. In fact, the body’s circadian rhythms can shift during adolescence, leaving many teens feeling wide-eyed later into the night. Unfortunately, with early school start times, staying up until 10:00 PM may not allow for enough nighttime sleep, leaving your teen dragging during the day. It can also increase the risk of traffic accidents for young drivers, take a toll on academic…

Get More Sleep When Cramming for Finals

No need for an all-nighter. Ace your exams without losing sleep with these smart strategies. When it comes to acing your end-of-semester exams, every minute of studying counts, right? Maybe not. It turns out that staying up too late (or all night!) memorizing facts and formulas can actually backfire. Did you know that following up a study session with a sleep session actually helps the material stick in your memory? On the flip side, missing out on shut-eye could make it harder to remember what you reviewed the night before. Luckily, it’s possible to get good grades and get enough sleep. First, get a head start. Cramming a semester’s worth of material into…

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sleep

It can be hard to convey the importance of sleep to a high schooler—these tips will help get the conversation going. With time and experience, most adults know that not getting enough sleep can impact their mood and make it tough to concentrate. Too bad teens don’t see that connection so clearly! Between school, sports, socializing, and other extracurricular activities, sleeping falls way down on the list of priorities. That helps explain why even though high schoolers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, most don’t get that. It’s up to parents to convey the importance of sleeping enough. Start with these four strategies. Play up the positives. Sometimes it…

Prepare Your Dorm Room for Better Sleep

College students can turn even the smallest space into a sleep sanctuary. These five strategies can help you get started. Quality sleep doesn’t have to end when school starts. True, college life comes with many distractions that are not always conducive to getting enough sleep. As a college student, though, aiming for seven to nine hours a night should be your goal—it could help improve learning and even increase your grade point average. You can set yourself up for success by designing a dorm room that encourages shut-eye. Start with these tips to wake up feeling refreshed. Limit Outdoor Light When decorating your dorm, the first step is to find a way to control the amount…

Is It OK to Sleep In on Weekends?

Sleeping in for an extra two or three hours (or more) on a Saturday or Sunday morning may seem like a good way to try to recoup the shuteye that you missed during a busy week. But it won’t help you make up for chronic sleep debt. While it may help you feel slightly less drowsy and stressed out that day, it won’t eliminate the negative, cumulative effects that sleep loss has on your health. Plus, the sleep loss that you’ve already incurred can still adversely affect your mental and physical performance, even if you feel better after sleeping in. What’s more, sleeping in can backfire in a variety of ways. For starters, it can…

What to Know About Hormones & Sleep

  How your age will impact your sleep As women age, many aspects of their bodies will change, and those changes can affect how they sleep and how much sleep they need. Read on to learn how to handle all the hormonal swings that life will throw at you. Puberty A teen girl’s changing hormones cause a shift in her sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. This means that during this age range, she is naturally wired stay up later at night, get up later in the morning and need more total hours of sleep (about night hours a night). PMS The regular rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone during the week before a woman’s period sometimes disrupts…

Get the Facts on the School Start Time Movement

Health advocates are pushing districts to move the first bell later for adolescents. Improving kids’ school performance isn’t just about rigorous classes and great teachers—helping them get quality sleep may actually be even more important. That’s especially true for adolescents, whose internal body clocks are different from those of younger kids. Kids’ circadian rhythm changes as they mature—when they’re teens,  secretion begins later at night and shuts off later in the morning. That makes it harder for high schoolers to go to bed early and wake up at dawn. The problem: Traditional school schedules, which often have adolescents beginning classes as early as 7:00am, are at odds with this later circadian rhythm…

Teenagers and Sleeping In: How Long is Too Long?

Find out when sleeping in is normal—and when it is a red flag. The unfortunate truth is that most teens need far more slumber than they are getting: The recommended amount of shut-eye for children ages 14 to 17 is eight to 10 a night, but most rack up just seven-and-a-half hours a night. That’s one to two hours of sleep deprivation, on average, every night, which can lead to major sleep debt and wreak havoc on a teen’s mental and physical health. A hectic schedule and staying up until the wee hours doing homework, watching Netflix, or texting friends is sometimes partly to blame, but a teen’s internal body clock or circadian rhythm…

Early School Start Times and Childhood Development

Why scientists want your kids to sleep in If early weekday mornings are a battlefield at your house, it may come as no surprise that what time kids have to wake up for school is a hot topic among researchers and educators alike. Administrative concerns (such as a resistance to changing complicated and expensive busing schedules and a reluctance to pushing back sports practices—which could result in purchasing field lights) often lead to middle- and high schoolers leaving home before dawn. The result: Early school starts translate to teens getting just seven hours of sleep a night, which is far short of the nine-plus that’s recommended for that age range. And these early wakeups…

Is My Teen’s Sleep Normal?

How to figure out if your teen is getting enough shut-eye — or too little If you have to force your teen to hit the sack at a decent hour or practically need a cattle prod to get him or her out of bed in the morning, you’re hardly alone. The truth is, nearly 80 percent of adolescents don’t get the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis.  Besides leaving your teen yawning and cranky during the day, sleep deprivation can increase the chances that he or she will perform poorly in school, become depressed or stressed out, get colds more frequently, or have an accident while driving. It’s normal for teens to sleep a…