Sleeping is hardly an exciting pastime, let alone something you have eight hours a night for! It’s easy to sacrifice sleep for seemingly more important things like studying, hanging out or working, but it’s really more crucial than you may think.
Teenagers need seven-nine hours of sleep because the hormones that are important for growth are released while you snooze. Lack of sleep can intensify your emotions or behaviors, causing you to act out or not be yourself. Without enough sleep, you may find it hard to pay attention in non-stimulating situations (like class!). Sleep deprivation can also affect your health negatively, by weakening your immune system and promoting weight gain. So essentially, sleep is important!
It can be difficult to feel prepared to take that nighttime slumber when you have been going at a rapid pace all day, so try to wind down a half-hour to an hour before you hit the sheets. Take a hot bubble bath, close your eyes and allow yourself to soak in the warmth. Curl up in some comfy pajamas and sip some warm milk or caffeine-free tea. Listen to some soothing music, like Over the Rhine, Damien Rice or Eva Cassidy. Or try some other relaxation techniques to find a few that work for you.
Changing your lifestyle can also help you receive your much-needed shut-eye on a regular basis. Be consistent everyday in the times you go to bed and wake up. Exercise regularly and finish your workout at least three hours before you sleep. Avoid eating two hours before you crash. Do your best to avoid distracting materials like television, your phone and the computer around your bedtime.
Although, catching those zzzzzzz’s is not usually our activity of choice, make it a priority. An extra hour of sleep will do a lot for your well-being. Plus, you don’t want those bags under your eyes! So sleep tight!