Evelina London highlights sleeping tips for teenagers

Posted on Friday 19th March 2021
Teenager sleeping

Evelina London's sleep experts have shared advice for teenagers

Our sleep experts are highlighting the importance of teenagers getting a full night’s sleep, and encouraging them to view sleep as part of their overall health.

In time for World Sleep Day (19 March), our sleep specialists have developed a resource pack with some top tips for improving sleep routines.

Over the past year, many normal routines have been disrupted and so sleeping well can be a challenge for children, young people, and their families.

Lead author of the resource pack Dr Michael Farquhar, consultant in paediatric sleep medicine, said: “Especially during teenage years, good sleep is essential to support physical, mental and emotional health, wellbeing and development. Sleep deprived teenagers are more likely to struggle with schoolwork, to become anxious or depressed, be more irritable, to engage in risky behaviours, and are at greater risk of developing physical health problems, which can lead to higher risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems in adult years. 

“The last year has been particularly disruptive, and many teenagers’ sleep has been affected as a result. Sleep patterns change as puberty starts, with most body clocks shifting later, meaning the natural times to fall asleep and wake up can be out of sync with expectations of parents and schools. During the pandemic, many teenagers have been able to sleep more in tune with their own biological rhythms, going to bed later and waking up later – so returning to school might be a bit of a sleep shock!

“Simple strategies can help teenagers get their body clocks back to time and improve the quality of sleep they get.”

Research published by President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Russell Viner, emphasises that good quality sleep is one of the most important protective factors overall for teenagers’ wellbeing.

Dr Shreena Unadkat, clinical psychologist at the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, and co-author of the pack, said: “Another important issue for teenagers’ sleep is how daytime stresses and worries can affect our sleep. In the pack we address this, and suggest tips to help teenagers to wind down and de-stress before bedtime”.

Top tips in the resource pack include:

  • Removing screen time in the hour before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine and sugary drinks after lunch
  • Building a calm bedtime routine
  • Taking regular exercise
  • Getting as much natural light during the day as possible
  • Address any worries or anxieties during the daytime, and use body-based relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or meditation before bedtime

View our sleep pack for teenagers