Tag Archives: Sleep Deprivation

5 Tips to Better Teen Sleep

5 Tips to Better Teen Sleep Is your teen sleep deprived?

With exams just around the corner, young people up and down the country are risking peak performance by losing out on vital sleep.

Whether it’s due to pulling all-nighters for exam revision, or having too much screen time, sleep loss can have a huge impact on young people’s health, behaviour, mood, concentration, memory and, ultimately, performance at school.

We look at the effects of not getting enough shut eye and how best to get our teenagers to sleep more.

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Three Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep

Three Steps to Better Sleep

Research shows that more and more of us are not getting enough sleep. In fact, 33% of us get by on less than 6 hours slumber a night!

Given that a lack of sleep can cause problems with our mental and physical health, it’s worth establishing a few new ground rules for a better night’s sleep. Continue reading

Top 6 Sleep Myths

Have you ever said to someone: ‘I had a bad night’s sleep last night’, for them to respond by saying: ‘Get your head down for a few hours this afternoon and you’ll be alright’?  They may be right in that a quick nap can help rejuvenate the body but if napping after 3pm, it may affect you getting to sleep later that night, thus creating a viscous cycle.  Some other common sleep myths include:

Sleep Myths Busted

Sleep Myth 1:

Everyone needs 8 hours of sleep at night.

Busted!

Sleep is vital to our health and well-being, and is just as important as diet and exercise. Prof Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, says that we don’t need eight hours at all, suggesting that the average sleep length is seven and a quarter hours with lots of people having more or less than the average. Teens / young people need about 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night to function best. However, many young people do not get this amount as they tend to go to sleep later at night and are up early for school during the week. Check out our self-help sleep tips for teens. Younger children need even more sleep. When children don’t get enough sleep their behaviour and mood can be affected. They may become hyperactive at night leading to drowsiness during the day. Check out our guide to help your child to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Myth 2:

The weekends are a great time to catch up on all that sleep you’ve missed during the week.

Busted!

Although it’s very tempting to have a lie-in on weekends,  it’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule seven days a week. Regular bedtime and waking times will make it easier for you to naturally fall asleep at night.

Sleep Myth 3:

Older people need less sleep that younger people.

Busted!

The Sleep Council has found that that older people may experience changes in their sleeping patterns due to numerous factors such as brief arousals in the night, loss of deepest levels of non-REM sleep, more daytime napping, a drop in body temperature during sleep and they prefer earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-up. However, research has shown that we need just as much sleep when we’re older as we did when we were younger.

Sleep Myth 4:

Layering the duvets, blankets and covers to make the bed really toasty will help you sleep better.

Busted!

Believe it or not but the body needs a cooler temperature to aid restful sleep. 16-18°C is the perfect temperature for the room to be. To keep the bedroom cool try opening windows  to create a draught and keep your curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out.

Sleep Myth 5:

A nice glass of wine will help you sleep better.

Busted!

Alcohol may make you tired and put you to sleep faster but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

Sleep Myth 6:

Snoring is harmless.

Busted!

People who snore regularly could be at risk of serious health problems, including sleep apnoea, which can result in high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. For more information on sleep apnoea, check out our recent blog post.

Top tips for sleeping well

  1. Keep regular hours.
  2. Create a restful sleeping environment.
  3. Make sure your bed is comfortable.
  4. Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee – especially in the evening.
  5. Don’t over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, just before bedtime, can play havoc with sleep patterns.
  6. Try to relax before going to bed.
  7. Don’t take your worries to bed.
  8. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

What to do next

At Dalzell’s of Markethill our expert staff are on-hand to advise on any sleep needs you or your family have. As a Sleep Council retailer, we take your concerns seriously and will provide you with the best advice on beds, mattresses and bedding to suit your particular circumstances. Visit us in-store, call 028 3755 1260, email or go online where you’ll find lots of information on getting a good night’s sleep, best buys and choosing the right bed for you. A short drive from Dungannon and located conveniently between Armagh and Newry, we’re perfectly placed to accommodate your new bed purchase. What’s more, we provide a Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed service and Free Delivery of your New Bed throughout our Free Delivery Zone, which extends across to Belfast and all of Northern Ireland, and Counties Louth, Monaghan and Dublin, in the rest of Ireland.

 

 

Is lack of sleep affecting teens’ education?

 

Teens and sleep deprivation

A recent study by Boston College found that Sleep Deprivation plays an important role in lowering the achievement of schoolchildren. The research suggested the problem is more prevalent in more affluent countries, with sleep experts linking it to the use of mobile phones and computers in bedrooms late at night.

The BBC reported: ‘The international comparison, carried out by Boston College, found the United States to have the highest number of sleep-deprived students, with 73% of 9 and 10-year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14-year-olds identified by their teachers as being adversely affected…Other countries with the most sleep-deprived youngsters were New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Australia, England, Ireland and France.’

Young people need the right amount of sleep in order to function to the best of their ability. Other studies have shown that sleep patterns in young people are different from those of adults or younger children. This is something that many parents know all too well: that their teens stay up later and lie in bed for longer periods in the morning.  It is generally agreed that teens need about 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night to function best. However, many young people do not get this amount as they tend to go to sleep later at night and are up early for school during the week.

Exams, anxiety and sleep

As many parents know, exam time can be particularly stressful for teens. Feeling stressed and anxious can affect sleeping patterns so it is important that young people learn to establish a good sleeping pattern to help them deal with these times. Chad Minnich, of the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center said: I think we underestimate the impact of sleep. Our data show that across countries internationally, on average, children who have more sleep achieve higher in maths, science and reading. That is exactly what our data show.”  

It’s important that you help your teen to learn how to relax if they are experiencing anxiety or stress. An anxious young person will find it very difficult to relax and get a good night’s sleep. One way is to set aside some time each day, preferably before bedtime, to discuss the day and sort out any issues or problems they may be experiencing. Other ways that your teen can help themselves to get a good night’s sleep are listed below.

Self-help sleep tips for teens

  1. Establish a bedtime routine by going to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  2. Try and wind down at night by doing a relaxing activity i.e. something that is not going to stimulate your brain, such as listening to calming music or reading a book.
  3. Incorporate some exercise into your routine earlier in the day.
  4. Avoid caffeine or high-sugar content drinks as they can lead to over stimulation.
  5. Create a relaxing sleep environment in your bedroom. Turn off game consoles, TVs, mobile phones or any other distracting technology devices.
  6. Ensure your bed is giving you the right support. Many teens quickly outgrow the bed they had when they were younger. Many now opt for a double-sized bed to give them extra room and space to stretch out on.

 What to do next

Dalzell’s is an accredited Sleep Council retailer which means our expert staff are on-hand to provide advice on sleep related issues. Visit us in-store to meet with the team where we’ll only be too happy to discuss your bedding requirements. Based in Markethill we’re located between Newry and Armagh, so ideally placed to welcome customers from Banbridge, Dungannon and Belfast.  With over 500 beds in stock, we’re confident you’ll find a new bed that suits your growing teen, or for any other member of the family. No time to visit? No problem. Call us on T: 028 3755 1260,  Email or view our great selection of beds and mattresses online at ArmaghBeds.com. Our bed and mattress brands include Respa, Sleeptight, King Koil, Kaymed, Staples and Myer’s, so there’s a style and design to meet everyone’s sleep needs. What’s more we provide a Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed service and Free Delivery throughout Northern Ireland, and Counties Dublin, Louth and Monaghan.

 

Help your child get a good night’s sleep

If you’ve been watching Channel 4’s Bedtime Live programme, you’ll understand what it’s like for parents with children who don’t sleep. We all know that sleep is important. It’s vital for our physical, mental and emotional well-being. When our children have sleep issues it can be exhausting, affecting the whole family, It was found that sleep deprivation in children can affect parents’ and carers’ relationships, emotional well-being and contribute to feelings of depression.*

How lack of sleep impacts on children

Of course, sleep deprivation for children can be quite significant, too. When children don’t get enough sleep their behaviour and mood can be affected. They may become hyperactive at night leading to drowsiness during the day. Lack of sleep also impacts on children’s ability to learn and function, leaving them unable to reach their full potential. It could also affect their growth.

Why is sleep important for children?

During sleep growth hormones are released and the immune system strengthens, helping your child’s body to fight off illness. It also helps us make sense of the day’s events helping our memory and concentration functions to increase. Ultimately, sleep helps our bodies rest and restores our emotional wellbeing. So how much sleep do children need? The table below provides a guide to how much sleep a child needs at different ages. Please note, times are given as averages as there are no two children with identical sleep habits.

 

Practical tips to help your child with sleep

  1. Keep a sleep diary to help assess your child’s sleep patterns.
  2. Try and understand why your child is not sleeping. If they’re old enough, talk with them about their sleep.
  3. Are there medical reasons why your child may not be able to sleep?
  4. Check what your children are eating and drinking during the day as this can affect how well they sleep at night e.g. sugary snacks can increase energy levels.
  5. Is your child getting enough exercise during the day?
  6. Establish a bedtime routine and be consistent. If you don’t stick to the same routine each night it will not work.
  7. Create a restful environment for your child. Ask yourself: Is your child too hot or too cold? If your child is too cold, you could consider using a double duvet tucked under the mattress of a single bed.  Consider too, noise levels, light and whether your child is overstimulated by toys/computers or electrical devices in their bedroom.
  8. Comfort. Is your child’s bed giving them the proper support? Is it worn or soiled? Is it comfortable to sleep in? Try the Bed MOT to see if your child’s bed would pass.
  9. Finally, aim to wake your child up at the same time each morning to reinforce their night-time and morning routine.

Remember, night-time should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone!

What to do next

If you are worried about your child’s sleep it may be helpful to talk to your Health Visitor or GP regarding your concerns. At Dalzell’s of Markethill our expert staff are on-hand to advise on any sleep needs you or your family have. As a Sleep Council retailer, we take your concerns seriously and will provide you with the best advice on beds, mattresses and bedding to suit your particular circumstances. Visit us in-store, call 028 3755 1260, email or go online where you’ll find lots of information on getting a good night’s sleep, best buys and choosing the right bed for you. A short drive from Lisburn and located conveniently between Armagh and Newry, we’re perfectly placed to accommodate your new bed purchase. What’s more, we provide a Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed service and Free Delivery of your New Bed throughout our Free Delivery Zone, which extends across Northern Ireland, and Counties Louth, Monaghan and Dublin, in the rest of Ireland.

* Information about sleep, Early Support for Children, Young People and Adults