Parents & Carers

Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

Dr. Staci Tanouye
A teen girl in her pajamas hugging a white pillow in front of a pink background

Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

OB/GYN Dr. Staci Tanouye weighs in on how much sleep teens should get and how to set up healthy habits.

If you have trouble getting your teen out of the house for school in the mornings, research shows they're not just avoiding that math test, they really are tired.

Most children going through puberty are not getting enough sleep, and in addition to drowsiness, the impact on well-being could result in irritability, disinterest in activities and feelings of depression.

How Much Sleep do Kids Need?

  • Children aged 6-12 should regularly get 9 to 12 hours per day
  • Teenagers aged 13-18 should regularly get 8 to 10 hours per day

Sleep is especially important while our bodies grow and go through hormonal changes (as they do during puberty). I've found that the best way to encourage your kids to get more sleep is to plan for it! Setting up healthy habits and sticking to them, can help establish that routine.

Some rules that I suggest include:

  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime both during the week and weekend
  • Start the day with sunshine – open the blinds or turn on the lights
  • Avoiding using devices or watching TV in bed
  • Turning off devices before bedtime – encourage your teen to charge their smart devices in a different room
  • No naps after 4 p.m. – this one may be hard to resist, especially after a tough week, but it will likely disrupt their sleep cycle later that evening
  • Avoid caffeine after mid-afternoon

Additionally, if your teen gets a period, they might experience trouble sleeping while menstruating. The right protection, paired with pain relievers and a heat pack before bedtime, may alleviate symptoms during this time of the month.

There are some medical conditions which may make it more challenging for your teen to get the quality sleep they need. If they continue to feel sleepy all the time, despite sticking to a routine, or are not able to fall asleep after trying different tips, get in touch with your medial provider to learn of additional solutions.

Author Summary: Staci Tanouye, MD, OB-GYN is a physician in a private practice and an expert in adolescent health, sexual health, reproductive health, and menopausal health. She has become one of the leading gynecologists on social media with the mission to educate women and all people with vulvas to love their bodies through knowledge and empowerment.

Kimberly-Clark makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.