LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Five ways for teenagers to get better sleep

Getting the proper amount of rest is a recurring topic in our Parenting Connection segment because of how important experts say it is for healthy growth and development for all ages. That being said, teenagers need at least 8 to 10 hours a day, yet this age group seems to be getting less than that, for various reasons.

According to doctors with kidshealth.org — teenagers usually start their school day much earlier than middle or elementary school-age kids, but routinely go to bed much later than younger children. This is because of many reasons, like more school work, extracurricular activities, and being more social with their friends whether in person or online. Here’s the problem — or problems, researchers say when teens don’t get enough sleep, it’s hard for them to be their best at school and in sports. It can also increase the chances of getting sick, gaining weight, and having a car accident if they drive drowsy.

Here are five ways from experts with kidshealth.org — how to try and help your teenager to get better rest, and they include:

*Be more active during the day. Increased physical activity and exercise will not only help a teenager’s body wind down easier at night, but it will also help to improve their mood and ease stress.

*Avoid caffeine near bedtime. This involves any sort of coffee, tea, or energy drink.

*Turn off electronics an hour before bedtime. Experts say the light from electronic devices tricks the brain into thinking it’s still daytime, so shut everything down 60 minutes before they try and fall asleep.

*Keep a sleep routine. Going to bed at the same time every night helps the body know to expect sleep.

*Expect a good night’s rest. Stress can trigger insomnia, so experts say instead of worrying that you won’t sleep or of other things, get your teenager to learn how to relax and believe they will sleep well.

Lack of sleep can also impact a person’s mood, relationships with others, and ability to pay attention — three major categories a teenager shouldn’t want to complicate when all it takes is maybe a few simple adjustments.