Adolescents require more sleep than adults. Teenagers generally need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day, but the average sleep time in this age group is currently only 7 hours per night. This “sleep debt” can have harmful consequences for their physical and mental well-being, and at a particularly critical time in their brain and body development. Care must be taken to ensure that adolescents have enough sleep and that their bedding is ultra-comfortable.
Fatigue and lack of sleep in adolescents
Today’s teenagers often have a frantic pace of life. Faced with splitting time among school, extracurricular activities, sports, part-time work, outings with friends, and social media, it is not surprising to find them exhausted in the morning.
According to The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) : “Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health and behavior problems.”
The adolescent's circadian (sleep/wake) cycles are also disrupted by hormonal surges occurring during puberty. Daily cycles, which naturally lower body temperature and promote sleep, are delayed. The secretion of melatonin and cortisol, hormones that affect falling asleep and waking up, are also delayed. This hormonal turmoil has always existed, but it is increased by the stress that adolescents are under and the extra time spent on screens.
Smartphones, tablets, and computers are main contributors to sleep disruption in adolescents. These devices can be all-consuming and certainly delay eventual sleep. In addition, the excitement factor and bluish lighting delay the secretion of melatonin (the release of melatonin requires a decrease in brightness or even darkness). Wakefulness is therefore stimulated and sleep time reduced.
Consider establishing a "digital curfew" in your home for 30 days and review the results. Spend this special extra time before you retire to remember shared times or predict the future.
Establish a quiet time and encourage reading or music before falling asleep; try a comfortable pillow, and consider investing in quality hotel bedding. It may take your teenager back to a favorite memory.
Helping a teenager sleep
The first recommendation is to make the bedroom a “sleep haven."
- A teenager's room represents autonomy, privacy, and territory.
- A teenager’s room is the first space that is their own.
- It is where they work, sleep, play, and connect with friends.
- The room should combine practicality, aesthetics, and energy.
We recommend adding one or several floor cushions, which are available in styles appropriate for different ages and lifestyles. Pillows make the floor a cozy space and the pillow covers come in several colors to match the décor of the teen’s bedroom.
The adolescent's bed should be comfortable and firm, in order to promote sleep.
The quality of bedding should be the best available at a fair price.
Even if you have the space for a larger bed, consider keeping a twin bed for two reasons: it leaves more space in the room and because your teenager might soon be headed for college or some other shared living experience where a queen bed is not an option.
Teenager bedding recommendations:
- Bed sizes:
- Twin/Single: 39" x 75”
- Twin XL: 39" x 80" (Not common - more for dorm rooms)
- Full/Double: 54" x 75"
- A full size comforter is great for a twin size bed to add extra coverage for drawing pads, books, pizza boxes, etc., but a twin XL comforter can also fit comfortably. Using an oversize comforter makes it easier for the teen to make his own bed and also to feel cozier in bed.
- The Intelli-Pedic pillow, 3 in 1 pillow; adjustable and fits any sleeping position for the teenager, so it’s a safe bet.
- Mattress pads protect the mattress and increase comfort:
- Waterproof mattress covers are essential (Downlite makes one that is waterproof only).
- Plush pads are great for comfort; they can be thin, medium or super thick.
- The duvet cover set should be stain resistant and preferably not white, so as not to show stains, and should have duvet ties for more practicability.
If you would like any help or professional advice before ordering your bedding, you may contact our customer service representatives by phone or email, and they will assist you in your decision-making.
Photo credit due to @retrogramboards on Instagram.
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