The Keys to a Good Night Sleep and a Healthy Mind

Sleep is often always on a teenager’s mind; however, less than 15% of teens actually get the suggested 8-9 hours of shut eye per night. A lack of sleep can lead to irritability, decreased productivity, anxiety, and depression, among other things. While it may be unrealistic to get 8 hours of sleep every night, there are other ways to increase quality and quantity of sleep.

1. Staying on Schedule – Avoid sleeping in extremely late on the weekends. This will throw off the your internal body clock and make it even harder to wake up early during the week.

2. Turn off electronics – Avoid using electronics within an hour of bedtime. If you must, use a duller light setting that many smart phones now provide. This will help your brain realize it’s time for bed. Many teens keep their phones close to their bed with their ringers on in order to be available for a friend or to hear their alarm in the morning. An easy alternative is to set your alarm with a regular clock and to give your friends your landline number that they can call in case of an emergency.

3. Decipher light from dark – Early in the morning, expose yourself to as much light as possible. This will notify your brain that it’s morning and time to do work. On the other hand, as the night progresses, dim your room lights, cut out electronics, and avoid bright colors. Ensuring your room is completely black (no glow-in-the-dark stickers!) can also help your brain identify it’s time to sleep.

4. Keep it cool – Turn the temperature down. Your body naturally adjusts to it’s surroundings, so the less clothes and more moderate temperature it is, the better night sleep you will have. Ideally, set your thermostat to around 65 degrees F. 

5. Say no to late night snacks – Eating late at night can cause your digestive system to have to stay up late working. This bodily process can keep you awake at night. Especially try to avoid sweets or caffeinated products.

6. Exercise during the day – Tiring yourself out during the day with physical exercise can make it easier to fall asleep at night. When your body is exhausted, your mind will often follow.

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You only have one body in this lifetime, take care of it.

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Ariel Zedric is a metaphor loving, 17-year old living in the U.S. She is aspiring to be a lot of things. Contact via email at ariel.zedric@gmail.com, Twitter and Instagram @arielzedric, or find her wandering around on her blog at arielzedric.wordpress.com.

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