Teens sleeping

6 Tips for Teens to Sleep Better

Teenagers can worry a lot. They may go to bed too late because of too much homework, earn some extra pocket money and work too much, use their tablet or mobile phone too much or their parents set too few rules to prevent children from developing sleeping problems. Young people know very well that they go to bed too late, but they just don't go to bed early. How can we, as parents, help teens sleep better? What can parents do differently or better? Here are some tips.

Type 1. Kids will appreciate you helping them plan better.
For most college students, teens, and adolescents, homework is a reason to go to bed late. They think it's the teachers' fault that they get too much homework or they complain that the teachers give a lot of homework at times and no homework at other times. They feel irregularity in this. When children learn how to better organize their homework, they can sleep better at night and go to bed earlier without stress. You can help your child with:
* Teaching the child the best times during the day to do his or her homework. As a teacher, I know these times are right after school and after dinner.
* Teach your child how to plan breaks and fun things in a week and get the child to use an agenda instead of just finding homework in an online environment! A real old-fashioned diary works best.
* Show your child the best place at home to do homework. I suggest a quiet place, but not necessarily his or her bedroom where there is no control and a lot of potential distraction. A quiet space in the back of the living room or an office-like space downstairs is a good place to do homework. If there is no option but to do homework in their bedroom, make sure there is no phone, no TV, and a clean desk without too many distractions like computer games and social media, etc.

Type 2. Make sure the teen doesn't have his or her phone next to the bed at night!
We all know that the phone is an extension of themselves, like everyone who has a phone these days. So we all understand the importance of the phone and want to have it near them as much as possible. It's your social life, your source of information, your alarm, your everything. Who wants to miss a Whatsapp conversation in some group. Yes, tempting as it is, teens realize they can't go to sleep with their phone on them because it keeps them awake. Adolescents will understand if a parent sets rules for the telephone in the room during the night. They won't like it at first, but they know it's necessary for adequate sleep. You can buy your son or daughter a real alarm clock, so that the mobile is no longer needed!

Type 3. Help your teen stop worrying right before bedtime.
When will that mark be for the French test? Did I hand in that assignment correctly? Do my classmates like me? What time does school start tomorrow? Why did I tell her I didn't like her lipstick… stupid me. All kinds of questions can arise right before going to sleep. Wouldn't it be great to have all these questions answered before going to bed?
This brings us to the “puzzle your head for a 15 minute break”.
Your teenage son or daughter can find one regular time each day to worry and think about anything that comes to mind. In those 15 minutes, they write down all their questions and concerns and look for answers and solutions. Thus thinking before sleep becomes superfluous.

Type 4. Only sleep in the bedroom!
Teenagers love their room and it is very important to them. They do whatever they want there, such as gaming, YouTube or binge-watching, chatting with friends and checking Instagram and so on. Secretly, however, they know that it is not appropriate to do all those fun things at night. But they need parents to set rules for this! Not every teenager is the same. Some need rules and others don't. But as a parent you know if they are needed or not. Parents can also create a separate gaming area somewhere in the house, other than in the bedroom, so that the bedroom is really only used for sleeping.

Type 5. A clean, organized, tidy bedroom.
We all know that students and teens don't like to clean or tidy up. They throw their clothes on the floor and make a mess of their whole room. They use a cup or glass, eat something and throw away the wrapper. This can cause anxiety just before going to sleep. You can teach your teen to clean up right away if they make a mess. Then every teenager can sleep in a quiet bedroom every night! You can remind your teen of this from time to time, which will be understood.

Type 6. Make rules together and don't be too strict.
If you set all kinds of strict rules, children will not listen because they will create more resistance. Even though they know that rules can sometimes be positive and useful. If you give them control and make these rules together, there can be a discussion about what works and what doesn't. Just listen to them and try to agree on realistic rules that everyone is happy with.

I hope you found these handles useful!

Maarten Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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