Sleep is crucial to your wellbeing. As you sleep, your body repairs and prepares you for the next day, so the better you sleep, the better you’ll feel

It’s likely that after a good night’s sleep you’ll feel alert, be able to make quick decisions, focus better, and be more creative. That’s why not getting enough zzz's isn't smart. It can cause long-term health issues and affect the way you think, react, work, and interact with others. In fact, sleep deficiency is linked with depression, obesity, anxiety, and addiction.

Research suggests that around nine hours per night is the magic number for teens (adults need fewer hours). But every person has different requirements. Basically, if

you feel tired at school, you need more sleep. The story doesn’t end there. During puberty, studies suggest that your body clock shifts by two hours, so you're likely to go to bed two hours later and wake up two hours later. That's why some secondary schools in the UK are experimenting with pushing start times later.

It can be tough to get enough sleep. Distractions from social media, outside noise, or ticking clocks can leave you bleary-eyed each morning. But here's how you can log more hours in bed.

  1. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. (No snoozing!)
  2. Exercise regularly and avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
  3. Minimise noise and light and keep the temperature a little low (15-19 degrees).
  4. Use relaxation or meditation techniques before going to bed.
  5. Avoid digital devices at least one hour before you turn in.
  6. Use the 'do not disturb' function on your phone to limit digital interruptions.

It’s a fact

Sleep gives your body the chance to catch up – to support growth and development of both mental and physical health. Which is why you need plenty of it.

Written by Victoria Evans and Jane Bianchi of Teen Health Guide, and edited by Dr William Swallow MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP

© Teen Health Guide Limited

www.teenhealthguide.co.uk