Ahh – Saturday…The day many of us can face the day at a slower pace and lay in bed a little longer. I know I look forward to not getting out of bed quite as early that day! And, if my teenage children don’t have a sports, school, or 4-H activity that morning, they will sleep for as long as I let them.
The question is how long should I let them sleep? Is it really okay for teens (or adults for that matter) to sleep in past noon? I cannot remember when I last slept that late into the day, but I do remember how I felt. I did not end up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Instead, I recall feeling groggy and having a headache.
Research on the importance of sleep tell us exactly why sleeping in had an adverse effect on how I felt. The reality is our bodies prefer consistency and routine. And developing good sleep hygiene is important to our physical and mental health. Good sleep hygiene means we create an environment beneficial to sleep, and we practice daily routines that foster consistent sleep. The following information from the Sleep Foundation can help.
To create a good environment for sleeping, take a look around your bedroom.
- Is your mattress and pillow of good quality and provide proper support?
- Does your bedding keep you too cold or too warm?
- Do you have too much light in the room from the windows or a nightlight?
- What temperature is the room? Ideally a cool room is best.
- Is it a quiet place with minimum noise? Can you reduce noise with the use of a fan or a white noise machine?
Think about your daily sleep routines. Are you following these recommended strategies?
- Set a fixed time to wake up and stick to it, even on weekends.
- Budget time for enough sleep. Recommended guidelines vary by age. Aim for the following based on your age:
- 9-11 hours for school-age children
- 8-10 hours for teens
- 7-9 hours for adults
- Only take naps when needed. If you take a nap, the best time of day is early afternoon, and the best nap length is 20 minutes.
- If you need to alter to your sleep routine due to a change in school or work schedule, do it gradually. Adjust a little at a time to get your body used to the new schedule.
Tips for self-care and stress management all recommend getting enough sleep, so it’s about time we devoted a post to this topic. For more information on sleep hygiene and healthy sleep tips, visit What is Sleep Hygiene?
So, how do I prevent sleeping in on Saturdays? I’ve found that scheduling something on my calendar helps. Appointments for haircuts, meeting someone for a walk in the park, attending a fitness class at the gym, or attending one of my kids’ sports events all help to keep me and my teens from hitting snooze one more time.
Wishing you pleasant dreams and peaceful sleep,
Laryssa Hook, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Delaware County