If it seems like you’re always tired and never can seem to get the sleep you need, you’re not alone.
In fact, 73% of teens report that they don’t sleep enough. That means most teens aren’t getting the zzz’s they need.
Sleep affects more than you may know. Without the right amount of sleep, you could:
- Become more forgetful
- Develop more skin issues, like acne
- Gain weight and/or overeat
- Become more likely to get sick
- Drive poorly
- Become irritated easily
The list goes on. Sleeping is important, you know that. But sometimes it can feel near impossible to get a good night’s sleep, especially if you’re waking up often in the middle of the night.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, here are a few tips to follow.
Put your phone in another room
Let’s take a moment to talk about those smartphones. They’re more detrimental to your sleep than you might think.
A study showed that having your phone on silent isn’t enough. Small disturbances like a screen notification keeps your brain wanting to check your phone.
Even just being aware of a missed call, an unread text or another notification causes your brain to stay alert, hurting your chance of a good night’s sleep. It knows there is something else to do, and it diverts your attention.
We recommend setting all smart devices (phone, tablet, etc) in another room. If you are able to forget about it, you’ll hopefully be able to sleep much better.
Separate work from sleep
As online students, you have the ability to study wherever you want. But, if you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to consider not studying on your bed or in your room.
If you do homework in your bed where you sleep, it’s likely going to make you want to take a nap rather than do math homework. The same goes for sleep. If you’re on your bed where you also do your homework, your brain may think it’s time to study.
Exercise early in the day
Exercise certainly has its benefits. It can make you happier and healthier. Exercising releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel good and have energy.
So, if you exercise too late in the day, you might still have some pent up energy, making sleep a difficult feat.
Limit caffeine in the afternoon
Caffeine is generally known to keep you awake. So….don’t take it at a time when you want to sleep. It takes a couple hours before it leaves your system, so make sure you avoid coffee, energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages after 6 p.m.
Sometimes you need a nap, and that’s OK. But frequently napping, especially in the afternoon, can really interfere with your sleep. Try to stick to a 15-minute power nap if it’s something you need during the day.
Stick to a sleep schedule
It will really help your brain if it knows when it sleeps and when it’s time to be awake. Stick to a schedule you can stick to and be as consistent as possible.
Keep lighting bright in the day and low in the night
Lighting actually plays a big role for sleeping. The brain knows when it’s dark, it’s time to sleep. That means if you try to study in dark room, you’ll probably be a little tired and less focused, and then a little too awake when you actually try to sleep.
Keep lighting bright during the day, and bring it down in the evening so your brain can know to wind down.
Follow a few tips to reduce stress
Stress can be a major culprit of lack of sleep. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your brain is going to want to stay awake.
We posted a blog a little bit ago about how to reduce stress in your life. You can read that here. Here are the basic tips for reducing stress:
- Be open with it. Talk with your parents, friends and doctors. All are here to help
- Breath. Breathing exercises work wonders!
- Limit negativity and toxicity in your life. Remember the positives instead.
- Exercise and eat your vegetables. It really impacts your mood.
- Get out and socialize, especially when you don’t want to.
See a doctor
And, of course, if nothing seems to be working, a doctor will be able to help you the most. But hopefully these tips above can help you get the sleep you need.