Sample Bedtime Routine for Teenagers

Sample Bedtime Routine for Teenagers

Getting enough high-quality sleep is crucial for teenagers during this pivotal time of growth and development. However, busy schedules, electronic devices, and changing sleep patterns can often disrupt teens’ sleep.

Establishing a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine helps teenagers wind down, fall asleep more easily, and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Walking through a series of calming activities in the evening signals to both the brain and body that it’s time to transition into sleep. In this blog article, we’ll explore the key components of an effective bedtime routine for teens and provide a sample schedule.

Why a Bedtime Routine is Important for Teens

  • Promotes better sleep quality. Following a relaxing routine signals the brain and body to prepare for sleep. Teens who don’t have a regular schedule tend to have more fragmented and restless sleep.
  • Improves mood and behavior. Adequate sleep can enhance teens’ mood, concentration, memory, and behavior throughout the day. Lack of sleep is linked to crankiness, anxiety, and depression in adolescents.
  • Supports health. Sleep allows the body to repair muscle, tissue, and cells. It also balances hormones related to growth, metabolism, and appetite. Insufficient sleep can negatively impact teens’ physical and mental development.
  • Aids academic performance. Well-rested students have better focus, attention span, learning, and grades. Teens need 8-10 hours of quality sleep per night.
  • Sets healthy habits. Establishing good sleep hygiene in adolescence can lead to better sleep routines later in life.

teenager girl sleeping

Creating an Effective Bedtime Routine

Here are some tips for creating a calming bedtime routine that helps teenagers wind down and relax before bed:

Make it consistent

  • Stick to a regular schedule, even on weekends. Try to keep bedtime within 1 hour of the same time each night to sync the body’s circadian clock.
  • Follow the routine in the same sequence of steps to signal your brain it’s time for bed. The predictability helps cue your body for sleep.

Allow enough time

  • Ideally, begin 60-90 minutes before your desired bedtime to ensure you have time for the full routine.
  • Avoid cramming activities right before bed, as this can be too stimulating. Pace activities to promote relaxation.
  • If your routine takes less time, build in wind-down buffers like light reading before bed.

Minimize electronics

  • Limit stimulating activities like TV, video games, social media, texting etc. for at least 1 hour before bedtime, or don’t allow them during your routine.
  • Blue light from screens suppresses melatonin and delays sleepiness. Change devices to night mode to reduce blue light exposure.

Make it relaxing

  • Choose calming activities like light yoga, reading, listening to soothing music or meditation apps to relax the mind and body.
  • Dim the lights to trigger drowsiness. Use relaxing essential oils or a warm bath.

Avoid caffeine, big meals, and exercise

  • Caffeine, heavy meals, or vigorous workouts too close to bed make it harder to fall and stay asleep.
  • Finish these at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Have a light snack like yogurt or fruit if needed.

teenager girl sleeping


Sample Bedtime Routine Schedule

Here is an example of a healthy 1-hour bedtime routine for a teenager:

9:00 PM: Finish any homework or studying for the night. Tidy and organize room/backpack.

9:15 PM: Take a warm shower or bath using calming lavender or eucalyptus oil. The drop in body temperature helps induce sleepiness.

9:30 PM: Do 10 minutes of light yoga stretches or breathing exercises to reduce muscle tension and quiet the mind. Try legs up the wall or a child’s pose.

9:40 PM: Spend 10 minutes journaling about the day. Writing helps process thoughts and relieve stress.

9:50 PM: Read a book, listen to soothing music/sleep podcast, or practice meditating to unwind. Use headphones to avoid disturbing others.

10:00 PM: Turn off all electronics and lights except a nightlight or salt lamp. Set alarm for the morning.

10:05 PM: Get into bed and focus on breathing, body scans, or relaxing imagery until you fall asleep. Avoid clock-watching.

Customize this schedule based on your teen’s needs and preferences. The key is being consistent with a relaxing sequence of activities away from electronics, caffeine, and heavy meals.

Sticking to a soothing evening routine helps teens ease stress, clear their minds, and drift off into quality sleep.

Tips for Success

  • Involve your teen in designing their routine, so they feel in control and are more likely to follow it.
  • Gradually adjust bedtimes to avoid a change that is too drastic. Move it 10-15 minutes earlier each night.
  • Use positive reinforcement, such as rewards, for sticking to their routine, rather than punishment if they don’t.
  • Be a role model and follow good sleep habits yourself, like avoiding electronics and caffeine at night.
  • See a doctor if your teen continues having sleep difficulties despite following their routine.


A consistent bedtime routine allows teenagers to disengage from the stimulation of the day, process their thoughts, relieve stress, and prepare both mind and body for restful sleep.

Making the routine relaxing and predictive helps establish healthy sleep habits that will benefit them now and later in life. Experiment to find activities your teen enjoys and that make them sleepy.

Be a role model by structuring your own evening schedule. With some motivation and consistency, a proper bedtime ritual can ensure teens get the rejuvenating sleep fundamental to their health, safety, and success. Learn more about bedtime routine habits and tips here.