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Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

by Dr. Staci Tanouye

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

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.

Sources Referenced : 

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.