As children reach puberty, their sleep needs fluctuate and helping your tween have a good night's sleep can make all the difference in her mood, school performance and overall well-being. On average, tweens need 9-10 hours of sleep per night, and chances are she's not getting enough! Here are some tips to help your tween (and your whole family) have sweet dreams:
1. Decide on a bedtime together and stick to it.
2. Create a nighttime ritual, like a warm bath, hot tea, quiet music and light reading.
3. Avoid screen time for a minimum of one hour before bedtime. The light from computers, phones & televisions can impair the body's natural circadian rhythm and disrupt bedtime.
4. Keep her room dark at night, use a sleep mask if needed. Upon waking, allow fresh sunlight in to help cue her body that it's time to get up.
5. Try a sound machine set to white noise to drown out potential sleep interruptions. Tweens begin to spend more time in lighter sleep stages and may waken more easily than younger children.
6. To avoid late night cramming sessions, help your tween create a daily routine with chores and homework so that later evening hours can be for relaxation.
7. Get regular physical activity and provide healthy meals & snacks, which can promote good sleep.
8. Avoid long naps, but allow your tween a quick 15-30 minute power nap when needed.
9. Try to help her keep to a schedule on the weekends, even though late night TV, junk food and daytime napping are so tempting!
10. Practice all these tips with your tween and watch your own nighttime routine give you sweet dreams too!