“But I’m not tired……”
Without enough sleep you can struggle to concentrate, can feel cross and short tempered, over emotional, or just like you want to crash out and lie down – when everyone else is busy getting on and having fun. Sleep rules!
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep and this changes as you grow up, but as a guide if you are in primary school you should be getting 10-11 hours’ sleep a night, so probably going to bed between 7 and 8 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. Getting lots of fresh air and exercise during the day will help make you feel tired at bedtime. After dinner have some chill out time, it’s best to avoid watching TV and using electronic devices as this wakes your brain up, and you want to be sending it ‘sleepy signals’.
You might want to listen to some calm music or have a warm relaxing bath, and then warm milky drink (no fizzy drinks, no caffeine) but make sure you clean your teeth before bed. It helps get your body ready for sleep if your bedtime routine is the same each night, and if it happens at about the same time every day.
Sometimes it can be hard to sleep, and to switch your brain off, or you might wake up after a nightmare. If this happens to you regularly, you could talk to your public health nurse who will be able to give you more tips on how to sleep well.