This Page

has been moved to new address

Kid Companions- Chewelry

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Kid Companions- Chewelry: Dec 23, 2010

December 23, 2010

Help Your Teen Fall Asleep Earlier and Easier

Parents must educate their teens about the importance of sleep, just as they educate them about exercise, nutrition, drug and alcohol use. Teens with a sleep deficit are unable to concentrate, study, and work effectively and safely. They can also experience emotional problems, like depression and are at greater risk of having suicidal thoughts.

You must convince your teen to the benefits of getting their required 9 hours of sleep so that they are willing to practice an earlier bedtime. If they do not do this voluntarily, then you must mandate a bedtime. If there is one part in your teen’s life that you have to step in and be the hated parent, setting a consistent bedtime is one.

Lifestyle Changes Must Go Hand-in-Hand With Mandated Bedtimes

Earlier parental-mandated bedtimes must be accompanied by lifestyle changes that will facilitate the teen to fall asleep. Happy, well fed, adequately exercised teens do fall asleep easier so try the following tips with your sleep deprived teen:

*Encourage your teen to participate in daily physical activities, especially outdoors, inducing adequate quality sleep.

*Welcome his friends to your home and facilitate group activities so your teen has kids his own age to talk to, to have fun with and to help make him feel good about himself.

*Encourage your youth to eat balanced meals and snacks.

*Eliminate drinking coffee and other drinks and food with caffeine and sugar after 3:00 pm.

*Do not let him eat 2-4 hours before bed. Food gives energy, and activates the stomach muscles, both of which can keep one up. If food is needed, suggest a high-carb snack like cereal, toast, popcorn, fresh or dried fruit or fruit juice.

*Teach your child how to handle stress and how to unwind so he does not carry his worries to bed. Yoga classes would help with this.

*Help in learning visualization techniques to calm his mind and melt away the tensions of the day.
*Suggest writing down in a journal what he does not want to forget or what is stressful for him to do for the next day. Encourage him to add a few steps he will take to make the next day easier. Once it is on paper it should allow his mind to quiet down for sleep.

*Schedule enough time to relax before the agreed upon bedtime and have a routine of getting ready for bed.

*Remove all electronics from the bedroom: computer, television, phone, cell phone, video games…

*Have a reliable alarm set so there is no worry of not waking up on time. Turn the clock around so he does not stare at the clock and worry of  not sleeping.

*Suggest a relaxing activity to help fall asleep like a warm shower, reading or listening to soft, soothing songs.

*Provide a soft reading lamp that can be switched off from the bed, comfortable bed clothes and keep the room cool (68 degrees). Sleep happens when the body cools and awakens when the body warms.

Studies can state facts and findings, parents can state rules and repercussions, but no one can wave a magic wand and make a teen fall asleep. You and your teen have to want this or it will not work. Like all other matters in life, ensure this problem is tackled early and prevent serious mental health conditions such as depression which are much more difficult to deal with.

If all your efforts and your teens efforts fail to get him to fall asleep earlier and easier, you must consult a professional. Your family doctor would be a good place to start. If you choose to consult with a naturopath, he or she may prescribe melatonin supplements and/or light therapy. Whatever you do, be sure the problems are tackled early. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

What advice can you share on how to assure your teen gets the required hours sleep?

Related post: Teens Lack of Sleep May Be Cause of Depression

Labels: , , , , , , ,