With two teens at my house I know what their sleep patterns are – and they aren’t pretty. I started researching (since it’s Sleep Awareness Month) and found even more evidence that sleep is critical, especially for teens. As the National Sleep Foundation puts it: “sleep is food for the brain; it allows for important body functions and brain activity to occur.” And to get the attention of teens, they add that lack of sleep can make you more prone to pimples, and limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems – or to remember important things like a date with a special person in your life.
But you can change! Not unlike recommendations for the general population, Experts recommend 4 big ones for teens: Dark. Quiet. Cool. Comfort. Sounds easy, but implementing these for teens can be difficult, and normal biological patterns shifting toward later sleep times can make it even harder. Make your room an oasis of calm with these strategies:
Keep it Dark: Wind down before sleep by reading or relaxing without electronics – the artificial (blue) light emitted actually suppresses the release of melatonin. Use blackout curtains, turn clocks toward the wall, close down screens and flip phones over (or put them in another room). Try a fun eye shade if you can’t get it dark enough. Then open curtains in the morning to let the light in and signal your body to wake up
Turn off the Volume: Turn everything off, shut down notifications; and close your door. If sounds still disturb your sleep, try a white noise machine, fan or air conditioner that creates a consistent and soothing background. White noise works by reducing the difference between ambient sounds like slamming doors or car horns.
Keep your room temperatures low. Studies have shown that temperatures between 60 and 67 are optimal for sleep. Our normal body temperature is highest in the afternoon and lowest in the early morning. Sleep usually begins when our body temp drop, so cooler temperatures get us there faster.
Make your bed comfy, your sheets clean, and your room tidy so you can relax. Get sheets and covers that keep you cool and cozy. Most experts recommend natural fiber sheets– National Sleep Foundation recommends 200-400 thread count for best breathability. (those higher thread counts are actually less breathable). Two of the best weaves are percale (like our twin collection) which is cool to the touch, and sateen (like our Luxe Collection) which is warm and smooth for year round comfort.
Try these out, and I hope you will be energized, successful and have great skin!