Ah, sleep - the ultimate form of escapism. A chance to leave reality behind and enter a world where you can float like a cloud or fly like Superman without anyone batting an eyelid. But as much as some of us would love to spend our entire lives snoozing away, it turns out there is such thing as too much of a good thing (believe me, I've tried). So how do we strike a balance between catching enough Zzzs and not drifting off into the abyss? Especially when it comes to teenagers who seem genetically programmed to stay up all night?
Here's the deal:
Sleep experts suggest that 13-year-olds need around 9-11 hours per day in order to feel their best (good luck with that one) However, this doesn't necessarily mean they should be lying down in bed for nine consecutive hours because let's face it; most teenagers will probably just end up tossing and turning until their alarm screeches at them.
So what can we do instead?
Well, for starters, encouraging your teen (as far-fetched as this may sound) to stick to regular bedtime routine, going to bed at the same time every night despite responsibilities or distractions. This'll help establish a natural circadian rhythm and make falling asleep more comfortable over time(or so science suggests anyway).
And if your kid still insists on staying awake until sunrise?
Here are five things they could try doing before conceding defeat (and potentially losing cool points):
- Reading - not only does this stimulate imagination but also grows vocabulary (did someone say SAT prep?)
- Stretching / yoga – hey even teens need space from screens! 3 Exercising early – exercise gives endorphins = happy hormones (Not all heroes wear capes) 4.Reading comics or graphic novels – let their inner geek fly!
- Meditation - Trust me, it works and they don’t have to become a monk in Tibet for it
Hesitant about offering workout tips to kids? Just remember: exercise releases endorphins, which are essentially nature's version of Prozac. So as long as everything is done with moderation and without risk of injury, feel free to encourage them towards any sort of physical activity.
But what if my teen can fall asleep just fine?
Here's where things start getting tricky: sleeping too much isn't necessarily better than sleeping too little (surprise surprise). Oversleeping on weekdays creates sleep debt that usually culminates into compensating excessively over the weekend; inducing sleep deprivation all over again next week because Monday arrives inevitably early Whether you're oversleeping by 30 minutes or three hours every day , essentially your body registers this inconsistency in patterns and struggles adjusting.
That being said:
Don't be alarmed if your kid isn't resting quite the right amount each night – everyone's different after all (yay uniqueness) . Pay attention instead on whether he or she seems irritable during the day (let’s face it puberty does bring out teenage angst) It could indicate poor quality/quantity winks( time for some bedtime adjustments)
Take Home Message
The ideal amount of sleep varies per individual but generally speaking, 13-year-olds should aim for nine to eleven hours daily with a consistent schedule - thus striking an ideal balance between under-slept agitation and sleeping beauty exhaustion frenzy.
Now go forth young padawan!! And may you wake up feeling like Beyoncé everyday from now onward