How to make sure your teenager gets enough sleep

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New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Increasing academic pressure has increased the time Indian students spend at school or engaged in academic work at home. On top of this technology has entered their life like never before and hence Indias next generation is losing out on their bedtime. In order to make sure that they get enough sleep, some factors need to be kept in mind,

Ankit Garg, Co-founder and CEO, Wakefit and Devrath Vijay, Founder of the functional training studio, The Outfit, share tips that parents should make sure their children follow.

* Daily physical exertion and exercise: Whether it is an invigorating game of football, a round of gully cricket, or just cycling around the neighbourhood, physical exertion during the day primes the body to get a good night’s sleep. Parents should encourage their children to go outside and play or take a run around a local park for their health, fitness, and bedtime.

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As long as the exercise doesn’t happen in the 2 hours preceding their bedtime, teenagers will find it easier to wind down and fall asleep peacefully and wake up rested, alert and happy the next morning.

* A bedtime for devices: It isn’t just teenagers – 25 percent of adults are also spending precious time watching shows on TVs and smartphones that should have ideally been expended in sleeping and becoming prepared for the next day.

Jokes about the age-old argument between parents and children about bedtime and late-night TV watching apart, all devices in the household should be retired at least an hour before the children’s bedtime. This includes smartphones, laptop computers and televisions. Parents can join their children in this exercise to keep the protests to a minimum, and also get some better sleep themselves! Teenagers can read a book or the family can play board games instead of staying glued to the television and then staying up until midnight.

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* Complete darkness in the bedroom: The science on the subject is absolutely clear – the best sleep is enjoyed in darkness, as the lack of light triggers the body and sends it a critical signal that it is now time to sleep.

Light exposure at the time of sleep through bright lights outside the window or the harsh blue glare of a lit-up smartphone on the bedside table stimulates alertness, which makes healthy, abundant and refreshing sleep harder to achieve. Design the teenager’s bedroom to prevent unwanted light exposure. For younger children, a nightlight with a red bulb is ideal as light at that wavelength is less disruptive than other colours and wavelengths.

* A comfortable mattress: Even the most exhausted child will find it hard to sleep even in the darkest room if their bed is uncomfortable. Parents and children should ensure that their bed is clean and that the mattress is comfortable and provides the kind of back and body support that helps the children rest.

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–IANS

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