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Sleep problems in CYP

Starting a conversation about sleep with teens can be tricky. The Positive Steps teen group have created the Sleep Quiz to help get the conversation started. Beware! You may find out that your sleep routine is not as good as you thought.
Sleep is as important for Children & Young People as a healthy diet or physical activity
Lack of sleep may affect their concentration, mood, memory, decision making and ultimately their academic ability.
Research shows that teens need between 8 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
Teenagers often feel tired and during puberty and adolescence their requirement for sleep increases. This is probably because of all the hormonal and physical changes in their body’s and their brains.

What are the signs a CYP could be struggling?

There may be a number of signs or symptoms that a Child or Young Person is not getting enough sleep however these could also be normal for a teenager or might be indicators for other difficulties:
• They may start being late for school when they have previously been on time
• They may be more irritable, may seem ‘down’
• They may appear to be lacking in energy
• Their memory might not seem to be as good as usual
• They may seem distracted or lacking concentration
• Their decision making might be impacted
• Their grades may start to slip
• They may fall asleep in lessons

Who can help?

You can! If you identify a Child or Young Person needs more sleep because of a change in behaviour, tiredness and change in academic ability provide a safe space where they can talk about what is going on. There are a number of self-care strategies that they could employ
• Discuss the importance of bedtime routines
• Point them to relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or muscle relaxation, to aid sleep
• Highlight the importance of a balanced diet as this has a direct impact sleep quality
• Talk about the impact of using screens immediately before bedtime
• Point them to information on safe websites to enable their self-care
Suggest they talk to a family member, trusted adult or friend.
If the problem appears to be chronic suggest they consult their GP