Teenagers and sleep issues
Good sleep hygiene is important for everyone, from the youngest infant to senior citizens. Teenagers have unique sleep requirements and sleep hygiene. Because teenagers' bodies are going through changes associated with adolescence, an approach that addresses a variety of factors is required for solving teen sleep problems.
A checklist for teens
- Help your teenager establish a regular, relaxing routine to unwind at night, just before bedtime. This will help signal your teen's body that it is time to sleep.
- Have your teen avoid all products containing caffeine (including soda, chocolate, etc.) after 4 p.m.
- Tell your teen to avoid smoking since, in addition to other bad health effects, nicotine is a stimulating drug.
- Teach your teenager to avoid alcohol.
- Keep your teen away from stimulating activities in the late evening such a heavy studying, computer games, and violent or frightening television shows, videos, or books.
- Promote calm family atmosphere surrounding bedtime.
- Do not let your teenager fall asleep while watching television or videos.
- Help your teenager to establish a regular exercise routine and healthy diet.
- Have your teen avoid late afternoon and evening bright light, and open blinds first thing in the morning.
- Allow your teen to go to bed later on weekends, but make sure he or she wakes up within two hours of his or her usual weekday wake time. If allowed to "sleep-in" on the weekends, your teen's body clock will be disrupted, and he or she will have a very hard time waking up on Monday morning. It is important to establish and maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule.
- Encourage your teen to avoid napping. If your teenager is very sleepy, a short nap is okay, but limit it to 30 or 45 minutes.