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sleep

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Health

    Importance of Maintaining a Regular Sleep Schedule During Summer Break

    sleep schedule

    Without the regular daily structure of school, summertime signals late bedtimes for many teenagers.

    Most high schoolers have commitments for at least part of the summer (if not for the majority of it). Things like jobs, internships, and camps, and later bedtimes often result in an insufficient amount of sleep as they continue to wake up early to attend to their activities. It’s common for teenagers to go to bed past midnight, only to wake up exhausted early the next morning as they grudgingly get ready for the day ahead of them. This results in a screwed up sleep schedule.

    After some time, receiving an insufficient amount of sleep each night can affect an individual’s mood and health. Some people may try to offset this lack of sleep by taking a nap later on in the day. Although this may seem like a good idea, it isn’t because napping can mess with an already-altered sleep schedule. This results in even later bedtimes and even less sleep. Additionally, going to bed late and waking up late the next morning gets them accustomed to a new sleep schedule. Then it’s difficult to readjust once it is time to go back to their regular school schedule.

    Maintaining a balanced sleep schedule where you’re able to receive an adequate amount of sleep is essential to maintain good health and a positive attitude!

    If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re getting enough ZZZs, check out this slideshow from WebMD.

    Here are some recommendations on what you can do to maintain a healthy sleep schedule:

    1. Set a good bedtime. Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to be getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Your bedtime is when lights are turned off and you are in bed trying to sleep.
    2. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. For many teenagers, electronic devices are the number one thing keeping them up at night. Although binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix and Snapchatting your friends is fun (and sometimes kind of important!), sleep is valuable and should take priority. Remember, you can always be on your electronics during the day and should use nighttime to rest and get re-energized. Turn off electronics and put them in a different room if you think you’ll be tempted to use them. Use the time you have before you go to bed to read a book, listen to music, or do another activity that is calming and doesn’t involve the use of an electronic device that could potentially distract you and keep you up at night.
    3. Eat dinner at a decent time. For many individuals, a 6-6:30 pm dinner time is the most ideal. Sleep schedules get thrown off when dinner time is later in the evening, causing additional problems. I would recommend maintaining the same dinner time as during the school year. If you choose to stay up later, eat something healthy to satisfy your hunger and keep yourself energized.
    4. Create a bedtime ritual. For some people, creating a daily bedtime ritual allows them to stay organized and feel calm; better preparing them for receiving a good night’s sleep. Activities on your ritual could include anything from cleansing your face to reading a book before going to bed. Figure out what makes you feel happy and relaxed, and create a thirty-minute to an hour ritual for yourself incorporating those activities! Do you need ideas for before bed activities? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to a Self Care Routine.
    5. Be comfortable. When you feel comfortable in your room, you’re going to have a much easier time sticking to your sleep schedule! Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you care about the temperature, do your best to keep it at one that is optimal for your sleep! Some summer nights, it can get very hot and may be difficult for you to fall asleep. I would recommend getting a fan for your room if you don’t already have one.
    6. Exercise daily: For some people, this isn’t something to even worry about. Their summers are spent enjoying the nice weather outdoors and being active. However, for others who aren’t very active, making the effort to get some exercise in is important. Doctors recommend exercise or doing something active for at least 60 minutes each day. Going on a run, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or playing sports are some examples of ways one can stay active during the summertime. Exercising helps individuals get a good night’s sleep, making it is very important and something you shouldn’t neglect!
  • GirlSpring.com

    Are you Getting Enough Sleep?

    Are you getting enough sleep?

    Most Teens Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep – Here’s Why

    Did you know that teens need more sleep than children and adults? Research has found that adolescents need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is crucial to our health, which is why getting enough z’s should be part of every teen girl’s self-care routine. But most teens get only 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep each night. Some get even less.

    Because teens are at a critical phase of their development, they need more sleep than adults. And with teens’ busy schedules and social lives, getting sufficient sleep often gets bumped down to the bottom of teens’ to-do lists. But the decisions we make as teens can have serious long-term repercussions. The sleep patterns you form in your teen years continue until adulthood. The longer you wait to fix your sleep habits, the harder it is for your body to recover.

    Is Your Room Conducive To Sleep?

    Teen sleep problems can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes, it’s a matter of changing your sleep conditions. You should treat your bedroom as a place to relax. If you associate your room with chaos and clutter, getting your brain to unwind at the end of the day can take longer than it should. A dark, quiet, and cool room is ideal. A selection of mattress reviews suggest that if you often wake up feeling tired and stiff, then your body isn’t being supported adequately, so it might be a good idea to invest in a new mattress.

    You can also use aromatherapy to help you calm down. Smells like lavender, vanilla, and chamomile can help you relax. Making aromatherapy part of your self-care routine also makes your brain associate certain smells with bedtime, making it easier to fall asleep over time.

    Having a noisy room can also affect our sleep quality. But many times, noises aren’t within our control — for instance, you could have noisy neighbors or a busy road right outside your window. Try downloading a white noise app that will produce soothing sounds to drown out the other sounds and help you relax.

    Make a commitment to yourself to get enough sleep. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on weekends. This lets your body settle into a pattern and make it easier for you to fall asleep. When it’s close to bedtime, do relaxing activities like reading and journaling to help you slow down. Avoid watching TV or scrolling through your phone, and try not to leave your homework until late at night so you give your brain time to cool down before bedtime.

    Why Your Body Needs Sleep

    Today’s society places huge importance on being busy, with some thought leaders even going as far as lauding sleep deprivation as a virtue. It’s easy to see why many fall into this trap — when you want to get as many things done in a day, sleep may seem like a waste of time. But sleep is anything but unproductive.

    Sleep is crucial for your brain and body’s health. Sufficient sleep allows you to do more with your day, while not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on your mental and physical health. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, which can lead to more sleep problems. It can take a toll on your relationships, as sleeplessness can make you irritable and aggressive. Sleeplessness can hurt your performance at school, as it limits your ability to concentrate and retain information. It can also affect your appearance, causing acne and skin problems. And skipping sleep can also be fatal, especially if you’re driving drowsy.

    After making it a point to get enough sleep, you can look out for your friends as well by encouraging them to sleep more. If you still have trouble sleeping even after trying different techniques, consult your doctor or a sleep clinic. Don’t lose hope! With some help, it won’t be long before you start feeling the positive effects of a good night’s rest.