The start of a new school year brings with it a host of concerns for parents and kids alike, including sleep. Insufficient sleep can lead to mood swings, erratic behavior and poor academic performance. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help teens get better sleep and stay well-rested.
Teenagers & Sleep Expert
Many teens are facing pressure to balance homework, extracurriculars, socializing and other activities with adequate sleep. As a result, many of them struggle to get the recommended eight hours of rest a night.
When teens don’t sleep enough, they are at greater risk for serious health problems like obesity, heart disease and depression. They also may experience more stress and anxiety than adults and have a harder time recovering from physical activities.
During adolescence, rapid body changes can disrupt your teenager’s sleep schedule. This happens because their bodies’ internal clocks are shifting rapidly, causing them to feel tired earlier in the day and sleepy later in the night.
Other lifestyle factors can contribute to sleep issues as well, such as being overly active or spending too much time on social media and other electronic devices before bed. Additionally, teens who have trouble falling asleep are sometimes given prescription medication to treat insomnia or sleep disorders.
The most important step to helping your teenager get better sleep is educating them on the importance of getting adequate sleep. This means making sure they get a regular sleep schedule and going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.
To encourage your teen to go to sleep at a more reasonable time, work together to reduce screen time as much as possible before bedtime. Blue light from screens can suppress melatonin production, which is needed to fall asleep.
Establishing a routine before bed can also help your teen drift off to sleep more easily, such as having a bath, drinking a hot milky drink and using mindfulness techniques. Gentle yoga can also be helpful.
Make sure your teen is getting plenty of exercise each day. Daily physical activity can help promote better sleep, especially if it’s done at least two to three hours before bedtime.
Avoiding caffeine, sugary foods and alcohol before bed can also help your teen get more restful sleep. Caffeine can suppress your teenager’s body’s natural ability to produce melatonin, which is essential for good sleep.
Adolescents with a history of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia may be more likely to have sleep problems. These disorders can affect their appetite and digestion, which in turn can affect their ability to fall and stay asleep.
Medications can also cause sleep problems. Some medications for anxiety, ADHD and certain medical conditions can interfere with a teen’s ability to sleep properly. Medications can also lead to increased sleepiness during the day.
If you notice your teen experiencing difficulties sleeping expert for teen, it’s important to reach out for help from a qualified therapist. These professionals are trained to assess your teen’s sleeping habits and determine if there are any medical or behavioural problems that are contributing to their lack of sleep. These experts can provide a personalized plan to address the problem and ensure your teen is getting the rest they need.