How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Really Need?

Written by: Bethany Gemmell


Time to read 1 min

Teenagers aren't exactly known as early risers. Whether you're a teenager now or have a teenager yourself, you will know the temptation to stay up late. This is especially true for older teenagers who may have moved out and gone to university, for example. However, early responsibilities such as school or other daily activities make for sleep deprivation. This lifestyle leads to an inconsistent sleep schedule, and a bad start the day.

The Late-Night Temptation for Teenagers

Sleep experts believe that after puberty, your body clock shifts two hours. For example, if you went to bed at 10pm before, your new bedtime would be around midnight. Your usual waking time will leave you feeling tired. On the other hand, it mean your new waking time is two hours later.

The Impact of Puberty on Teenagers Sleep Patterns

New responsibilities as you grow up can also take its toll. Balancing school, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities can take its toll. Puberty can also cause tiredness on its own. Hormonal changes and bodily growth require extra sleep to recover energy levels.

So, What Is The Recommended Amount of Sleep For Teenagers?

The NHS recommends "at least" 8-10 hours of sleep per night for teenagers. This is roughly 2 hours more than an adult requires. Of course, a teenagers may feel they require more sleep during a tiring period. This is when a nap can prove useful to provide energy for a busy day. See our guide to naps to find out how a nap can help or hinder your energy levels.

Sometimes, tiredness can be an issue beyond sleep. There can be too much of a bad thing in a teen's waking activities. Factors like screen time or caffeine may help you be productive during the day. However, in excess these can prevent you from falling asleep.

During a busy day packed with activity, it is tempting to laze around at home and preserve your energy levels. However, when the night time comes, this inactivity can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Teenagers are recommended to have 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Our guide to exercise before bed offers suggestions for activities that will help wind teenagers before bed and prevent staying up too late.