Is your teen struggling with sleep? A healthy sleep schedule is key during adolescence, however, many teens struggle with sleep quality and getting enough rest.
Sleep issues can stem from a multitude of causes, but luckily, there are many helpful tips and tricks to help your teen get the rest they need.
Here are 5 gentle, non-pharmaceutical tips to help teens wind down at night, brought to you by Ramp! Best of all, these tips are buildable and achievable for stubborn teens.
Reduce blue light before bed
We all know teens love their tech, but using tech before bed can greatly disrupt your brain’s sleeping cues due to the blue light emitted by screens. The blue light emitted from your teen’s phone or tablet can block the sleep hormone melatonin, disrupting the sleep cycle and diminishing sleep quality.
In addition to chemically disrupting your teen’s sleep rhythms, using tech before bed can be a distraction. Instead of winding down for the night, your teen may be too focused on conversations with their friends or watching videos on TikTok.
To try and limit these disruptions to your teen’s sleep schedule, we suggest implementing a wind-down schedule by turning phones off an hour before bedtime. This will give your teen enough time to relax and develop a healthier sleep routine. Charging tech outside the bedroom is another great way to limit the temptation to check social media or text messages before bed.
Starting small and rewarding your teen is a great way to work towards this goal! Perhaps choose a time when the entire family plugs in their phones at a charging station, and your teen is rewarded with additional freedom the next day. Or, placing your wifi on a timer with “off” hours during an agreed-upon time can be a great alternative.
Hint: purchasing an alarm clock from Amazon can help avoid morning wake-up challenges. And finally, lead by example! What's your wind-down routine, and when do you close your technology for the night?
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Developing a healthy bedtime routine can help teens prioritize healthy sleep and feel their best at school! Maintaining a regular bedtime, limiting distractions in the bedroom, and practising calming activities before bed can all help your teen wind down and promote a regular sleeping schedule.
It is recommended that middle and high school students sleep for 8-10 hours per night, so aiming for bedtime to allow for at least 8 hours of sleep can help your teen feel refreshed and rested in the morning.
If your teen has trouble winding down for a regular bedtime, consider using warm/lowlights in their bedroom, and encouraging reading, listening to music or other calming bedtime activities. If possible, encouraging your teen to get their schoolwork finished earlier in the evening can help them feel less stressed before bed. We all remember those late homework nights! This may feel like an uphill battle, but helping your teen understand the benefits can plant the seed for a developing healthier bedtime routine.
Practice stress-reducing habitsThis comes as no surprise, but daytime stress and distractions can cause our teens to overthink when it’s time to rest. Practising stress-reducing habits during the day or before bed can help your teen relax and have an easier transition into sleep. Stress-reducing habits can look totally different for everyone, but here are some ideas that may help:
- Taking a hot shower or bath before bed to promote relaxation
- Reading a book or listening to calming music before hitting the lights
- Taking the dog for an after-dinner walk, or walking as a family to watch the sunset (this tells the brain that it’s time to wind down!)
- Including morning outdoor exercise to help set the circadian rhythm
- Using an app such as Calm or Headspace to take 5-minute breathing breaks throughout the day
- Engaging in face-to-face time with family and peers
- Journaling for 10 minutes before bed
- Enjoying a warm, caffeine-free beverage
- Enjoying their favorite hobby or a creative outlet
Practising stress-reducing activities can help your teen take their mind off daytime stress and focus on achieving a healthy sleep cycle. As mentioned above, stress-reducing habits can look different for everyone! Some teens may gravitate towards practising healthier habits during the day to help them wind down, instead of nighttime activity. This is also a great approach; whatever works best for your teen and your family is the best way to go!
Consult a healthcare provider if you're concerned
As mentioned above, sleep struggles in teens can stem from a multitude of causes. Here we discuss gentle, pharmaceutical-free tips to help your teen achieve adequate rest. But, if your teen is still having a hard time winding down before bed or is waking up during the night more often than not, consider speaking to a healthcare provider to determine the root cause and how to address the issue.
Remember, temporary periods of sleep disruption are totally normal for teens. It is important to remember not to stress, push too hard or try to take control of your teen’s routine. The key to best results is to make these changes as a family or to consider incentivizing your teen to implement these habits slowly over time.
Consider a natural sleep supplement, like Ramp! Down the Night
Including a natural sleep aid can be a great option to help your teen attain relaxation before bed. Instead of using a melatonin supplement or an over-the-counter sleep aid, Ramp! Down the Night helps naturally increase melatonin production in teens, and includes theanine and GABA to promote relaxation and sleep.
Try a 5-Day Sleep Challenge
We want to help you help your pre-teen or teen to feel their best. For best results, we encourage you to challenge yourselves to stick with Ramp! Down the Night for 5 consecutive evenings. [We’ve intentionally kept this to 5 days as weekdays, for many families, offer more structure and predictability.]Simply:
- Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 serving of Ramp! Down the Night.
- Blend powder until fully dissolved.
- Sip, relax, & sleep!
3 Steps to Help Support Sleep Success
- Gather Ramp! Down the Night: ensure you and/or your teen have your product ready before bedtime.
- Plan your time: think about how your teen can start to wind down.
- Be consistent: daily use is key to helping your teen feel their best.
Adding a natural sleep aid like Ramp! Down the Night is the perfect add-on to a healthy bedtime routine for adolescents. Plus, the flavor is a delicious tangy blue raspberry!
Have a favorite sleep tip for teens we missed? Let us know!