I am having trouble finding a way to go to sleep earlier. Is there a way to sleep earlier than normal, or do I have to gradually go to sleep earlier?

It’s great that you are trying to get more sleep! Teens need an average of about 9 hours of sleep every night. Getting more sleep can improve your concentration and alertness and even help you get better grades in school. There are things you can do so you are able to wind down earlier so that you can get used to an earlier bedtime. Here are some tips:

  1. Avoid drinks with caffeine (soda, tea, energy drinks) especially after 3pm.
  2. Eat your evening meal about 3 hrs. before you go to bed and then have a small snack such as milk and crackers before bedtime.
  3. Begin winding down about an hour or so before you want to go to bed. Try reading, meditating or listening to music.
  4. Turn off the TV and all electronics 1 hour before bed and keep them out of your bedroom.
  5. Turn off your cell phone and text alerts or leave your phone outside of your bedroom while you sleep.
  6. Make your bedroom quiet, dark and cool. If you can’t control the noise, you could try wearing earplugs or use a fan to block out other sounds.
  7. Try to be consistent about when you go to bed and wake up, even on the weekends. Getting your weekend wake time as close as possible to your weekday wake time will help your body learn when it’s time to sleep.

Read more about how to get more sleep here: http://youngmenshealthsite.org/guides/sleep/