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Instructional Tools & Materials

Teens and Healthy Sleep Habits

The following are instructional tools, resources, and example lesson plans of how to effectively teach students about the importance of healthy sleep habits.


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Examples of the articles for teens:

       How Much Sleep Do I need?   



Students will be able to discuss why sleep is so important.

Students will be able to discuss what affects the amount and quality of their sleep.

Students will able to discuss ways they can improve their sleep habits.


Homework that should be completed 7 days prior to the start of the lesson.

·         Students complete the “Sleep Log” handout from  Nemours Kids Health  

·         On a separate sheet of paper students answer the following questions referencing their “Sleep Log”.

1. Describe how much sleep you typically get, how much energy you have, and whether you think there’s room for improvement in your sleep habits.

2. Look at the day or days when you didn’t sleep as well or lacked energy during the day. Do you see any connections between these issues and the notes in your log for that day?

3. What changes could you make to sleep better and have more energy?


Day 1

*This topic can be done as a 1 -2 day class discussion or live on a zoom call.

Activity: Ask the students what they learned from their “Sleep Log” and share their answers to the three questions related to the “Sleep Log”.

Students will discuss how much sleep they think a teenager should have each night.   

·         Most teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Activity: Explain the difference between adult and teen sleep patterns.

Students will learn why teens sleep patterns are different from adults.

·         During the teen years, the body's circadian rhythm (an internal biological clock) is reset, telling a teen to fall asleep later and wake up later. This change is likely due to the brain hormone melatonin, which is released later at night for teens than it is for kids and adults. This can make it harder for teens to fall asleep early.

·         Changes in the body's circadian rhythm also coincide with a teen’s busy life i.e. schoolwork, extra curricula activities, part-time jobs, texting, snapchat, tik tok, video games.

·         Early school start times also play a role in lost sleep. Teens tend to go to bed late and get up early not getting the recommended hours of sleep each night.  Overtime, this creates a sleep deficit.

 Activity: Why is sleep so important to teens?

 Students brainstorm why sleep is so important to teens.  

·         To be healthy

·         For normal growth and development

·         To be able to pay attention and learn in school

·         Improve athletic performance

·         To be able to have a social life

·         To avoid drowsy driving and the protentional for car accidents

Activity: What are some of the way’s teens can get the sleep they need?

Students brainstorm ways they can get the sleep they need.  

·         Be active during the day so you can fall asleep more easily at night

·         Avoid caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks and drugs before bedtime.

·         Say goodnight to all electronics (smart phone, laptop, tablet, computer, TV) in the bedroom at least a half-hour before bed or at least shut them off or put them on silent mode.

·         Keep a sleep routine by going to bed the same time each night and wake up the same time each morning, including the weekends

·         Don’t nap too much

·         Create the right sleeping environment by keeping your room dark, cool and quiet.


Day 2

Picking up from the day prior discussion if necessary.

Activity options:

·         Class discussion about teens thinking it’s cool to miss out on sleep after what they learned in the last class about the benefits of sleep.

·         Small group project: Each group will create a tik tok song or poem on the benefits of sleep or tips to get a better sleep.


 Review/Discussion Questions:

·         The National Center on Sleep Disorders recommend that teens get at least how many hours of sleep per night? How much sleep do they estimate the average teen actually gets per night?

·         What are some of the effects on teens who are not getting enough sleep?

·         Name 4 medical conditions that can cause sleep problems.

·         What 4 things should you not rely on if you are having trouble sleeping?

·         Sleep is just as important for our physical and mental health as diet and exercise. Name 5 things that sleep helps with.

·         Name at least 5 foods to focus on and ignore when it comes to getting a better night sleep.

·         What are 4 signs that you might be sleep deprived?

·         Name 7 steps that you can take so that you will sleep better at night and feel more rested.

 Addition Healthy Sleep Resources can be found here.



The TeenHealthFX Teacher Pages correlate with the following National Health Education Standards:

1. Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health. 2. Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology and other factors on health behaviors. 3. Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health. 4. Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks. 5. Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health. 6. Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health. 7. Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks. 8. Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health. You can also access your state’s school health policies.


These materials were developed by TeenHealthFX.com, a program of the Adolescent and Young Adult Center for Health at Goreyb Children’s Hospital.