Teen’s need more sleep than the rest of us and though you can help them with a nice bed and a new mattress, sleep hygiene is often the key. This post will take a look at how to encourage this and help your teenget enough rest.
Remove Electronics from Your Teen's Bedroom - Teens often have difficulty staying off electronic devices, such as cell phones, handheld games and computers. A recent poll found that parents said electronics were one of the biggest causes of sleep issues. Research suggests that the blue light from these screens can disrupt the circadian cycle and can prevent a child from winding down and going to sleep. Removing these devices from your teen's bedroom can help them get a good night's sleep.
Phones Should Not Be Charged in the Teen's Bedroom - All devices that need charging should be charged in an isolated location to reduce the temptation of using them at bedtime. Many teens say they are relieved when their parents limit their phone usage because it takes the pressure off staying up to date on social media sites. Your teen may resist in the beginning; however, they will soon appreciate the freedom that your limitations give them.
Maintaining a Regular Sleep Schedule - Keeping a regular sleep schedule can help to regulate your circadian cycle. Sleeping in later than normal on weekends and school breaks can make it difficult for your teen to switch their schedule back, which can lead to grogginess. Catching up on sleep does not make up for the sleep that they missed throughout the week. Catch up sleep is not as restorative as getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.
Discourage Naps - Even though naps can feel wonderful, they can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Breaking up sleep does not offer benefits and can negatively impact the benefits of a full night's sleep. If your teen takes naps often, discourage them so that your teen can get a full night's sleep.
Avoid Procrastination - Homework should be completed as soon as your teen gets home from school. Oftentimes, your teen would rather play on their phone or watch television first; however, it is easier to keep their momentum going by having them do their homework as soon as they get home from school. Although this may not always be feasible, it can help your child complete assignments on time and help them wind down the rest of the evening for bedtime.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Bedtime Routine -In addition to forbidding electronics in your teen's bedroom, you should limit other distractions. Keep active pets out of the bedroom, use dimmer switches and soothing music to help create a sense of peace in the bedroom to help your child get to sleep faster and sleep better.
Limit Caffeine Consumption - Discourage energy drinks because they have more caffeine than sodas, tea and coffee. Additionally, do not allow your teen to have any caffeinated beverages after lunchtime as they can cause sleep disruption. This will help your teen go to bed early and prevent energy surges close to bedtime. Offer juices and other beverages that do not contain caffeine.
Melatonin May Help - Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the body to encourage sleep. This hormone is produced in the evening. Many teens do not get sleep until 11:00 pm or later. Melatonin supplements are available over the counter and can help to reset your teen's internal clock so they can get to sleep earlier. Give your child melatonin about an hour or two before bedtime. No research has shown any long-term effects of using natural melatonin as a sleep aid. This is the preferred medication as it does not cause morning time grogginess or medication hangovers.
Sleep Isn't Instant - Most people do not fall asleep as soon as they go to bed. It can take a half hour or longer for a person to fall asleep. Create a bedtime routine that helps your teen wind down and get ready for sleep. This can include quiet reading, a bath or relaxing in bed.
Consult Your Teen's Healthcare Provider - If these tips do not help your child get to sleep, there could be an underlying medical issue like sleep apnea or depression. Speak to your teen's doctor about seeing a sleep specialist if your teen has difficulty falling asleep despite following the tips listed above.