“But I’m not tired……”
Without enough sleep, you can struggle to concentrate, can feel really cross one minute and like crying the next, or just like you want to crash out and lie down – when everyone else is busy getting on and having fun.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep and this changes as you grow up.
As a guide, if you’re in primary school you should be getting 10-11 hours’ sleep a night, so that means going to bed between 7 and 8pm every night.
Once you get to 10 years old, you may need a little less, maybe 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours a night.
Relax and drift off
There are some things that we can do to make sure we are sleepy and ready for bed at the right time to get a full night’s sleep:
- Get lots of fresh air and exercise during the day as this will help make you feel tired at bedtime
- After dinner, have some chill out time. Avoid watching TV and using electronic devices though as this wakes your brain up, and you want to be sending it ‘sleepy signals’
- Try a bedtime story to help you relax before you fall asleep
- Dim the lights in your room to make it darker
- Listen to some calming music
- Have a warm relaxing bath
- Enjoy a warm milky drink. Make sure you avoid fizzy drinks and caffeine though, and don’t forget to clean your teeth before bed
- Get your body into a bedtime routine which is always the same and happens at about the same time every night
Sometimes it can be hard to switch your brain off and go to sleep. Sometimes you might wake up after a nightmare. If this happens to you regularly, talk to your parents, teachers or school nurse who will be able to give you more tips on how to sleep well.