Parenting teens: Sleep needs in teenagers

Parenting teens: Sleep needs in teenagers

Teenagers need an average of 9 hours of sleep each night.

Key points to remember

  • teenagers need an average of 9 hours of sleep each night

Sleep is important for teenagers

Image of sleeping teenTeenagers need an average of 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important - it is the time when growing happens.

During the teenage years, the body's 'clock' is temporarily reset, telling a person to fall asleep later and wake up later. It is natural for teenagers not to feel tired later in the evening.

How can I tell if my teen is getting enough sleep?

Here are some of the signs that your teen might need more sleep:

  • difficulty waking up in the morning
  • inability to concentrate
  • falling asleep during classes
  • feelings of moodiness and even depression

Teens also have high risk of having car accidents because of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Help your teen to get the sleep they need

Here are a few suggestions to get your teen the sleep they need:

  • establish a reasonable bedtime and wake time, make this consistent throughout the week (remember they need about 9 hours sleep)
  • establish a bedtime routine, taking a hot shower or quiet activity like reading, beforehand
  • cut down on caffeine (especially from energy drinks)
  • encourage daily exercise (make sure this is at least 2 hours before bedtime)
  • unless it's important (like sports or an appointment), let them sleep later in the morning in the weekends

Image of the cover of "Whanau pack" booklet

The content above is based on pages 6-7 below (PDF, 125KB) from the Whānau pack: Tools for families and parents with teenagers.

The Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation are very grateful to Northland District Health Board (NDHB) for permission to reproduce this content from the Whānau pack: Tools for families and parents with teenagers (PDF, 4.16MB).

Copyright

NDHB own the copyright in this material and it must not be copied or reproduced except as expressly permitted by NDHB. 

This page last reviewed 24 October 2014.
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