How to Get Enough Sleep in High School

High school can be a stressful time for teens. There is usually a large course load to accommodate, often with dual credit courses, and sometimes sports and community service.

In addition, many teens are very active in their church and holding down a part-time job. It’s no wonder most teenagers get far less sleep than is healthy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over the age of 12 get at least nine hours of sleep each night. In reality, many teens get less than six hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep increases attention spans, improves memory, and also spurs creativity.

Here are a few tips to help you get enough sleep in high school.

Don’t procrastinate.

Many advanced level and dual credit courses are demanding. Students are expected to have good time-management skills and pace themselves accordingly. Develop a realistic plan for big projects like CLEP exams, and stick to it. Leaving time consuming projects until the last minute will guarantee sleepless nights as the deadline approaches. Because the sleep-deprived brain works less efficiently, your work may not be of the quality you’re capable of.

Stay off of social media and other time-wasting websites.

There is no easier way to procrastinate than on the internet. Install an application onto your computer and mobile devices to track the time you spend on time-wasting websites. You might be surprised to learn how much time you actually spend on Facebook or Instagram.

Stay away from caffeine.

People are often surprised to learn that caffeine actually has the opposite of the intended effect. A jolt of caffeine will increase your energy levels for a very short amount of time and then make you even more tired. A better bet is a glass of orange juice. The effects of vitamin C will keep you energized longer.

Consider changing your schedule.

Of course this doesn’t work for everyone, but if your schedule allows you to start your schoolwork later in the morning, this could be the ticket to a more productive day. According to some studies, teenagers have an internal clock that naturally keeps them awake later at night. A later start in the morning might be just what you need.

How about a nap?

Again, this doesn’t work for everyone, but a short nap can be like your own personal reset button, making you more alert, energized, and ready to work.

Proper nutrition is important.

Sugary low-calorie snacks cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then drop, making you cranky and mentally fatigued. Opt for high protein snacks like cheese, nuts, or hard-boiled eggs.

Lack of sleep is a serious obstacle when facing the demands of a busy high school life. Make proper sleep a priority in your life and you will see positive results in your thought processes, your creativity, your mood, and your school work.

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Becky Muldrow & the Dual Credit at Home Team
Becky Muldrow & the Dual Credit at Home Team

Hi there! I'm Becky Muldrow, wife to my high school sweetheart, Gene, and mom to 10 great kids! I love spending my days homeschooling the last 4 of them and sharing (on my website and at homeschool conferences) how we do high school differently - by replacing it with college.