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How long should I be sleeping for each night?

Research shows that in young people, the body needs to sleep for between 8 and 10 hours per night.





What causes people to have trouble sleeping?

  • Being really busy with activities, like homework and sport, until late in the evening
  • Stimulating activities in the evening, like gaming, T.V., social networking, online videos, mobile apps, and loud music.
  • Bright lights in rooms and from screens that stop the body from preparing for sleep
  • Health issues, like Restless Legs Syndrome and sleep apnoea
  • Having caffeine later in the day (like chocolate, cola, coffee, and energy drinks)
  • Having alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis and other drugs

The impact of not sleeping

Research shows that in young people, the body needs to sleep for between 8 and 10 hours per night. Not getting enough sleep can have a big impact. 

What is the impact of not getting enough sleep?

  • Poor concentration
  • Low mood
  • Over-eating
  • Sluggishness
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor performance at school
  • Poor performance at sport and in other hobbies
  • Poor memory
  • Feeling sick

What can help me sleep better

What can help me sleep better?

Have the same “winding down routine” every night a while before bedtime that includes…

  • Going to bed early enough (at least 9 hours before you have to wake up) and at the same time
  • No internet, T.V., gaming or loud music before bed
  • Having a bath or shower
  • Having a warm milky drink
  • Limiting your caffeine intake
  • Dimming the lights before bed
  • Reading a book or magazine
  • Keeping the room dark when lights out
  • Breathing techniques, meditation or listening to quiet relaxing music in bed
  • Writing down your worries or thoughts and letting them go

Having a welcoming space to sleep in…

  • Is your bed comfy?
  • Have you got clean sheets?
  • Do you have comfy pajamas?
  • Is the room warm or cool enough?
  • Does the room have some fresh air?
  • Is it quiet enough? If not, can you use earplugs?
  • Is it dark enough? If not, can you use an eyemask?
  • Do you only use your bed for sleep? If you watch movies, play games and do homework on your bed, it confuses the brain about what bed is for.

What should I do if I have tried all of this, but still can’t get enough sleep or feel really tired?

  • Talk to someone about your problems or things that are worrying you
  • Talk to your G.P.

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