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Ouch. If sleep was a class, most teens are currently FAILING.  Sleep Number research shows quality sleep results in less stress, more patience and better moods.  If you’re a parent, grandparent, educator, or student we can help teens ace sleep. Keep reading.

“I had a hockey game early in the morning and had to get up by 6:30 a.m. The night before, I stayed up too late, past midnight. During the hockey game, I wasn’t playing my best and was slow on the ice. The coach noticed and benched me for a period. Now when I have an early morning game, I make sure to go to bed earlier, so I get enough sleep,” said 13-year old Erick from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

youth sleep infographic


“When students don’t get adequate sleep (especially during exams week), I notice their grades suffer. When they come to take a quiz and they’re tired and distracted, they don’t recall the material as well and will earn a lower grade. They’re also more likely to be sarcastic and rude,” said high school math teacher, Kristan Siegel from Houston, Texas.

Sleep is at the center of everything. Think about when you’re tired.  Your memory suffers. You don’t think as clearly, quickly, or creatively.  You’re more emotional and prone to outbursts; less patient and understanding.  Your physical body lacks motivation, moves slower, craves junk food, and is at increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, and poor mental health.

Yet, students say their days are too long, and they don’t have enough time to do homework.  They need to stay awake to get it all done.

Quote from a high school guidance counselor about students who don't get enough sleep having poor health.

Because sleep is so critical to U.S. middle and high-school students, Sleep Number is committed to improving the lives of one million youth through better sleep by 2025. The Sleep30® Youth advice you’re about to read has been tested with real teens and reveals three simple steps to help teens’ reduce stress and improve mood.  Our testing proves any teen can get better sleep– they just need the right tools to help build positive sleep habits that can ultimately better equip them to thrive in life. There are so many great benefits of getting the right sleep. Read more about that here.


Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep every night to feel and perform their best.
School-aged kids ages 6-13 need 9-11 hours each night.


3 steps for better sleep for youth

Sleep Number’s research and testing finds the most effective sleep habits to help improve students’ sleep quality, reduce stress and improve mood.

1. Focus on creating a BEDTIME ROUTINE

Just like adults, a student’s bedtime routine is crucial to help wind down and sleep better.  93% of teen testers improved their sleep quality by creating a relaxing bedtime routine.**

And, 70% of those teen’s parents noticed at least one positive mood change, and one-third said their teen had more patience and was less stressed than usual.**

Creating a nightly routine preps your body for sleep and signals to your mind that sleep is coming soon. The right routine is effective AND something you look forward to; creating a positive habit you can continue for years to come. Don’t know how? No problem. We’re here to help. Keep reading for 10 ideas to help.


While this can be hard due to after-school activities, trying to go to sleep around the same time every night helps. In fact, among teen testers who did this, 55% reported performing better at sports and 47% felt they were able to concentrate easier** Click here to learn how.


Light exposure helps you understand the right balance of daylight vs. blue light from tech vs. nighttime darkness. Click here for a simple light exposure plan that helps outline morning, mid-day and evening recommendations.


We invite students to focus on their bedtime routine by dedicating 20 minutes to one hour before bed doing one or more of the following activities:

Prepare for the Next Day

Pick your outfit for the next day and lay it out. Make sure your bag is packed for school. Write your to-do list. Sleep Number research shows teens feel less stressed and more prepared for the next day when doing this.

Journal About Your Day

Research suggests that the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help create a sense of peace. If you replay the day’s stressful moments in your head, write them down in your journal.

Take a Warm Shower

Before we fall asleep our bodies naturally get rid of heat to help lower our body temperature, which helps welcome sleepiness as part of the sleep cycle. A warm (not hot) shower before bed can help your body speed up this cooling down process.

Read a Book

Reading for enjoyment helps the mind relax. The key here is to read something that’s purely for fun.

Dim the Lights

Dim the lights around you to signal to your body that sleep is near.

Do Yoga or Stretching

Yoga or stretching can help prepare your body for rest. Just keep it light so you don’t elevate your heart rate which has the opposite affect of relaxing.

Listen to Soothing Music

According to research, listening to soothing music before you go to bed can help calm you down and get you to sleep faster. A song called “Weightless” by Marconi Union is said to be the most relaxing song ever recorded. Give it a try!

Use a Gratitude Journal

Using a notebook or ledger where you write down daily things you are grateful or thankful for can help you be in a more peaceful place before you go to bed.

Try 4-7-8 Breathing To Fall Asleep Faster

Place the tip of your tongue against your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Follow the steps below to follow the 4-7-8 breathing technique:

  • Close your mouth
  • Inhale for the count of four
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Exhale forcefully through your mouth (tongue against teeth) for a count of eight
  • Repeat

Make Your Bed Tomorrow Morning

73% of Sleep Number®SleepIQ® sleepers make their bed every day. Compared to those who don’t make their bed, this group wakes up 20 minutes earlier but are MORE restful and end up getting four more minutes of restful sleep.***  Four minutes multiplied by all the nights could give you much more quality shuteye.

Which of these 10 bedtime routine ideas are your student/you going to try before bed the next 30 days? Share on social using #Sleep30.

*GENYOUth and Sleep Number partnered together to gain perspective on teen sleep.  Online survey conducted April 26 to May 18, 2018 with a nationally representative sample of middle, junior, and senior high school students, ages 12-18, including 1,587 youth affiliated with GENYOUth programs and initiatives and 521 youth in a control group.

**Based on Sleep Number Teens and Sleep In-Home Study, January 2019

***Based on SleepIQ® data from 1/1/19 to 1/31/19 and self-reported survey data (from a Sleep Number study) among SleepIQ® sleepers.

Sleep Number


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