On the 19 March 2021 the World Sleep Society celebrates the 14th annual world sleep day. This year’s slogan is ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy future’.
This year is all about focussing on the benefits that regular sleep has on us, with studies showing that people of all ages have better quality of sleep when they have stable bedtimes and rise times.
It may seem tricky to be able to go to bed at the same time everyday and wake up at the same, especially at the weekend or school holidays, but science has shown that this can really help your general health too; it is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus!
As well as trying to stick to the same bedtime and rise time, having a good bedtime routine that helps you wind down in the evening can also help you to get to sleep quicker and have a better quality of sleep so you feel less tired when you wake up in the morning.
Did you know? Regular sleepers have better mood, psychomotor performance and academic achievement. So good sleep also helps you with your school work!
(Examples of psychomotor performance include sewing, playing a trumpet, driving a car; activities that you need good attention, hand-eye coordination and accuracy to do).
How much sleep should I be getting?
According to the World Sleep Society this is the amount of sleep people of different ages should be getting:
AGE Sleep needed
3-12 months —- 14 to15 hours
1-3 years —- 12 to14 hours
3-5 years —- 11 to 13 hours
6-12 years —- 10 to 11 hours
12-18 years —- 8.5 to 9.5 hours
So with this in mind do you think your sleep is as good as it could be? Do you need more sleep?
Check out our sleep top tips and more about the different stages of sleep in our Sleep section.
Sleep and your brain
The biggest time in your life that your brain grows is in the first three years of your life. After this, the next big development in your brain is during your teenage years and these changes in your brain can have a wide range of effects on your behaviour.
So what has this got to do with sleep?
As teenagers are growing up and going through puberty your body chemistry changes. Your bodies release different hormones at different stages including a hormone called Somatotropin (or growth hormone); a hormone you need to grow which is released when you are asleep. You may find that getting to sleep at the same time can be difficult as your body’s natural body clock changes. You may feel that you want to go to bed later and sleep for longer. That is normal, but getting enough sleep is still really important and you do still have to wake up for school the next day!
If you are finding getting to sleep difficult trying to have a regular bedtime routine and going to bed at the same time each time can be really helpful. Check out our sleep top tips and more about the different stages of sleep on our sleep page.
If you’d also like to learn more about how your brain changes during your teenage years, have a look at this online guide. The code to access this guide for free is ACORN.