Many people feel that time spent on sleep is time wasted. However, this is a wrong perception. Sleep has a vital role in keeping us healthy! However, the sad truth according to the recent trends are that most of the teens are deprived of sleep due to multiple reasons. They may either find difficulty in falling asleep or to stay asleep for the required time. Several studies suggest that teens need at least 9 hours of sleep per night.
Reasons why teens are deprived of sleep
Changing bodies, busy schedules, and social jetlag (allotment of sleeping time on weekends compensating the working days) are some of the reasons. Teens have to balance and fulfill the demands of their school that makes them sleep deprived at times. Use of social networking sites and smart phones at night can disturb the sleep. These problems havoc your teen’s sleep cycle or biological clock leading to disturbed sleep patterns affecting their health.
Reasons why teens need enough sleep
Sleep deprivation leads to various physical and emotional problems in teens.
- Obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders may occur. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders, affect (among other bodily processes) the timing of sleep and are most common in the teens. This disorder may make your teen sleepy during the day and alert during the night.
- Short sleep can also cause metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.
- Teens may suffer from mood swings, nervousness, aggressive behavior, and diminished concentration. Sleeplessness is also linked to depression and increase in suicidal tendencies among teens.
Here are 8 tips that will help to make your teen well-rested:
1) Understand and act
Usually, teen’s internal body clock changes their sleep schedules with age or as they get older. Due to this, your teen may fall asleep later at night and wake up late in the morning. You cannot alter this, but you can help your teen to overcome sleep during the day and wakefulness during the night.
- Make a schedule
Tell your teen to make a schedule by allotting time for managing the activities such as playing sports, doing homework, and spending time with friends. Working out with a plan can help them to stick to a regular and quality sleep time.
- Create a sleep routine
Make your teen keep a sleep routine by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Tell them to avoid day naps.
2) Provide adequate nutrition
Offer your teen a well-balanced diet to help him/her get the best night’s sleep. Encourage them to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and limit processed foods.
3) Avoid foods that shut off sleep
Tablets, vitamins, foods, or any other health drinks couldn’t replace sleep. Refrain from late-night eating and drinking. Having coffee or caffeine products during bedtime may turn off your teen’s sleep. Tell your teen not to have coffee, tea, soda, or chocolate late in the day as these foods can harm sleep. Smoking and consuming alcohol also can interrupt the sleep. Inform your teen that only water, milk or herbal tea is permitted during night time.
4) Advice your teen to maintain a diary
Writing a diary or a to-do list before going to sleep can make your teen sleep quickly without worries or stress for the next day.
5) Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Minor changes in the bedroom such as arranging comfortable blankets or your teen’s favorite colored curtains on windows can encourage sleep. Plan some measures by discussing with your teen to make changes in the bedroom. Avoid keeping computer or television in their bedroom. Make sure that your teen spends less time on electronics and the whole house is quiet during bedtime.
6) Encourage them to do relaxation techniques
If your teen is feeling difficult to sleep at night, help them to do relaxation techniques such as taking deep breaths for 5 to 10 minutes. This can contribute to feeling more relaxed and sleepy. Motivate them to do regular exercise in the mornings. This can help your teen to get refreshed and stay healthy.
7) Cut the night outs before exams
Staying awake for the night and studying may not help as this can cause tiredness and reduces concentration on the following day. Tell your teen how good and fresh they will feel after they have an adequate sleep. Also, make them understand that staying up late to study does not usually help much.
8) Be an example for your teen
Children adopt most of the habits from their parents. So, it is mostly you, who can help your teen to adopt a healthy sleeping routine. If you maintain healthy habits and have a good sleep at the right time, then your teen can also learn from you.
Help your teen tuck into the bed at a reasonable time by following the tips provided through this blog. However, after trying these tips, if you still feel that your teen has trouble with sleep or is not having enough rest, consult a doctor and seek medical advice.