Sleep

Sleep is really important to help you stay healthy - in your body and your mind. While you are sleeping your body heals and repairs itself. It is also important for your mood, learning and memory.

How much sleep do I need?

The amount of sleep you need varies from person to person. Most teenagers will need between 8 and a half - 9 and a half hours a night.

What can affect my sleep?

There are lots of things that can affect how much sleep you get and how good that sleep is.

Some of the more common include:

  • Stress
  • Food & Drinks
  • Environment

What can help me improve my sleep?

  • Routine -  having a night time routine can help prepare your body for sleep. Things like keeping the same bed time, having a warm bath, doing something relaxing like yoga, reading or listening to music an hour or two before bed can help settle you into a routine.
  • Stress management - stress or worry can sometimes stop us from sleeping properly. Take a look at our 'Stress' page for ideas to help you deal with stress.
  • Relaxation - you could try relaxation techniques, breathing exercises or meditation to help relax and settle down to sleep.
  • Environment - there are lots of things about your bedroom which may affect the quality of your sleep. Things to think about include having a comfortable mattress, the right temperature and using blackout blinds to make sure your room is dark enough.
  • Limit screens - the light given off by screens on our mobile phones, tv and computers can interfere with your sleep. Try to switch these gadgets off about 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Exercise - regular exercise has lots of health benefits - one of these is that it can help you to sleep better. Teenagers should aim to get around an hour of exercise a day. Take a look at our exercise page for ideas.
  • Reduce caffeine - caffeine is in things like tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. It can interfere with your sleep so having less of it close to bedtime can be a good idea.
  • When you eat - both over-eating and feeling too full, and going to bed hungry can have an impact on your sleep. Have a think about how close your dinner time is to your bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol - alcoholic drinks can disturb your sleep so you don't feel properly rested. Avoiding alcohol in excess can help to reduce this. Take a look at our alcohol page for details on how to make healthy choices about drinking.