10 Do’s and Don’ts of your Teenager’s Bedtime Routine

Providing a bedtime routine is just as important for teenagers as it is for children. According to the AAP, teens aged 13 to 18 should have between 8-10 hours of sleep. Sleep is important for a teenager’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Proper sleep helps to maintain:

  • A strong immune system
  • High energy levels
  • Strong mental health 
  • Better concentration and memory
  • A strong and healthy body 

5 Bedtime Do’s

1.Provide natural light during the day

Research shows that teenagers sleep better when they’re exposed to sunshine during the day. Sunshine helps your teenager to produce the hormone, melatonin. Melatonin helps signal to your teenager when it is time for sleep. 

2. Encourage physical activity during the day

One way to ensure that your teenager is tired for bedtime, is to encourage physical activity during the day. However, you’ll want to leave plenty of time between physical activity and bedtime, so your teenager has enough time to wind down.  

3. Try Mindfulness activities before bed

Mindfulness activities such as yoga and meditation can help your child release any tension or anxieties from the day. Apps such as Headspace or Calm can be helpful tools to direct these meditation practices. 

4. Let your teenager relax before bed 

Giving your child ample time to relax at the end of the day, can make falling asleep easier. Try activities such as reading, listening to soothing music, or dimming the lights to help your teenager wind down before bed.  

5. Praise your teenager 

Just like young kids, teenagers enjoy positive attention. Comments such as, “It’s so nice to see you read before bed,” or “I’m so proud of how you meditate and give your body a chance to relax before bed,” can be helpful to encourage your teenager’s wind-down activities before bed. 


5 Bedtime Dont’s 

1.Avoid stressful activities in bed

Remember that the bed is for sleeping. Have your teenager avoid using their bed for activities such as homework, eating, or watching tv. The bed should be a calming and stress-free place where your teenager can relax and unwind. 

2. Avoid different wake times

Your teenager should stick to a regular routine, which includes their wake time. This means that your child should be waking up at the same time each day, including weekends. Setting a daily alarm can be helpful for your child to stay on the same schedule. 

3. Avoid midday naps

To promote healthy night-time sleep, your teenager might need to build up their sleep pressure. This means that if your teenager takes a midday nap, they might not be tired enough by bedtime to sleep a whole night. Avoid these midday naps to help your teenager fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. 

4. Avoid caffeinated drinks

Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, energy drinks, and teas can hinder your teenager from falling asleep and staying asleep. These drinks should especially be avoided later in the day or close to bedtime. 

5. Avoid screen time before bed

Avoid allowing devices in the bedroom. Activities such as texting, playing games, or watching shows can stimulate the brain before bed. In addition to stimulation, the light from these devices can interfere with your teenager’s sleep cycle which can make sleep challenging for your teenager. 

One of the best ways to get your teenager on board with bedtime changes is to talk with your child about the issues they’re facing with nighttime sleep, and to use these tips to work together to develop a plan. 

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Children’s Wellness & Developmental Center
2006 State Highway 71 Suite 4
Spring Lake Hts, NJ 07762 Monmouth County
T: 732.919.1335
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