If you’re anything like me, then you will often find yourself going to sleep far later than midnight, and waking up in the late morning or early afternoon of the next day. 

This isn’t exactly healthy for your body but isn’t too hard to fix within a few weeks. 

During the teenage years, the body begins to produce melatonin much later at night. Melatonin is a hormone which makes you feel tired and it is very difficult to fall asleep without it. Generally, this means that most teenagers struggle to sleep before 11 pm. 

An average teen needs 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Not getting in those hours can severely affect your performance in a number of ways, ranging from worse long term memory to perpetual fatigue. 

One of the main reasons that most teens sleep badly is due to technology. It seems that everyone lies awake in bed for hours, scrolling through endless social media feeds. The hypnotic allure of the screen greatly engages the brain. This is detrimental when you’re trying to sleep and will keep you awake for a lot longer.

Blue light from screens can also keep you awake, but blue light filters do exist and are built into most phones. Contrary to popular belief, blue light filters don’t get rid of all blue light emitted by your phone. They just lessen it. That’s why you can still see blue icons on your phone.

To achieve a healthy sleep schedule, you should make some preparations before you actually sleep. 

Remove yourself from screens an hour before bedtime and do something relaxing before going to sleep, like reading a book, or drawing. 

Get at least 15 minutes of sunlight every day, particularly in the morning. This helps your body to know when it’s night, which, as diurnal creatures, is when we should be sleeping.

On days when you need an early start, 11 pm is the ideal time to fall asleep. You can wake up at 7 or 8 am and still have had enough sleep.

However, on days where you don’t need to be anywhere in the morning, something very common in the current times, you can go to bed up to two hours later. The two-hour limit is meant to keep your sleep schedule similar enough to your regular sleeping times so that neither disrupts the other.