Help Me Sleep

Obviously, sleep is great. 

Sleep helps our mood, concentration, problem-solving, attention, memory and physical growth and healing. Growing teens need at least 8 hours of sleep each night. About half of Aussie teens don’t regularly get enough sleep. We’re busy and as we get older, our schedules shift to having more things on later in the day and into the evening (think late netball games, study and socialising). This shifts our circadian rhythms. 

6 Tips to help you sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping, here’s some tips that can really help. Note that improving our quality and quantity of sleep really has a lot to do with what goes on during the day and in the lead up to bedtime – not just what happens when you lay down to snooze. Try making a plan for what you’ll do in the lead up to bedtime that will facilitate sleep.

  • Tip #1 Stick to regular sleep routines – that means roughly the same time to bed each night and waking each morning. Otherwise, we’re messing with our body’s rhythms and making it hard. Try keeping a sleep log to notice patterns in your sleep.
  • Tip #2 Bed is for sleep, not screens! We want to condition our brain that bed is a place where we sleep, not a place where we do homework or scroll socials. Find a cosy place outside of bed where you can do these things and it will make a huge difference. Similarly, when you wake up in the morning, hop out of bed rather than lazing around or scrolling.
  • Tip #3 Create a bedtime buffer-zone. This includes a routine a things that cue your brain that its sleepy time, like dimming the lights, putting the phone away, having a sleepy tea etc. 
  • Tip #4 Create a sleep-inducing bedroom. Dim lighting, phone charging in a different room (to avoid temptation..!), nice and cool (cooler temperatures help us fall asleep easier), comfortable bedding etc. 
  • Tip #5 The 25-minute rule. Remember how we want to condition our brains that bed is for sleep? The longer we lay in bed “trying” to sleep and getting increasing frustrated, the less likely we are to sleep, and the more we reinforce that bed is not for sleep. If you’re still awake about 25mins, get up and get out of bed and do something else (in low light- not phones!) for 10minutes. Reset, then try again. 
  • Tip #6 Tech away an hour before bed. I know it hurts, but you’ll thank me!

Ever wonder why some people are such early birds, while you find yourself wondering how 6am even exists? Thats because we have different sleep chronotypes! Click here to find yours!

More info on sleep in teens here.

Try these sleep apps..

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