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Teen Sleep Problems

It seems like irregular sleeping patterns are practically a requirement for being a teenager. This is particularly true because kids in this age group have to wake up so early for school, while still frequently pulling all-nighters during the week in order to finish school projects, cram for exams, or engage in late-night hobbies and socialization. Although this may sound like a perfectly normal teen existence, experts recommend that teens get at least nine hours of restful sleep every night in order to avoid a whole host of physical and mental problems that might otherwise be avoided. Is your teen’s lack of sleep a sign of a bigger problem? While most teenagers experience at least some sleep deprivation and odd sleeping habits, excessive sleepiness or lack of sleep may be indicative of a larger problem than simple internal clock disorder, and often requires medical consultation. Some things to watch out for:

  • Depression. May result in fatigue, loss of energy, apathy, and insomnia. If you are concerned that your child may be depressed, contact a health professional.
  • Insomnia. Difficulty falling or staying sleep that occurs for many nights may be a sign of insomnia. Insomnia is frequently caused by stress, but could also result from a chronic condition that may require medical help.
  • Medication side effects. Certain medications can cause drowsiness, night terrors, sleepwalking, and other sleep-related maladies. Check with a doctor about potential sleep-related side effects and assess your options.
  • Drug or alcohol use. Caffeine, cigarette, alcohol, and drug use can all cause difficulty sleeping and fatigue. Caffeine, in particular, may sneak into your teen’s diet via late-night chocolate, pain pills, or vitamin drinks.
  • Sleep Apnea. This sleep disorder causes breathing difficulties while asleep, which results in disruptive and low-quality sleep. Snoring is another symptom of sleep apnea.
  • Narcolepsy. While naps are a pretty normal response to being tired, sudden or unusual sleep during daytime hours may indicate an inability to stay awake. This is particularly dangerous if your child drives, as they may uncontrollably fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome. This is a condition in which may prevent your teen from getting quality sleep due to unconscious movement during sleep.

So, while staying up late may be a classic staple of teenage life, parents should still keep an eye out to make sure that lack of sleep is a symptom of being a teen, rather than a symptom of a legitimate health or mental health issue.

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Teenagers and Sleep

If there is one age group with the most messed up sleeping routine, it’s the teens. Being a teenager is a phase, and it’s associated with all sorts of upheavals, so it’s no surprise that sleep sometimes gets compromised. According to experts, teenagers need at least 9 hours of quality night sleep. The reason for this is that hormones that are related to growth and sexual maturation are released during these critical hours.

The irony is that, a bulk of today’s teenagers can’t sleep normally and actually suffer from many different sleeping disorders. Insomnia is still the most common problem of today’s teenagers. This is alarming because research shows that insomnia affects the development and temperament of the youngsters.

Parents are advised to be wary of insomnia symptoms.  Most of them are pretty obvious signs of sleep deprivation and may be affecting a kid’s life in a lot of ways. Having difficulty to wake up in the morning, irritability, extreme moodiness, and sleepiness at daytime are only a few signs that a teenager can’t sleep normally at night.

When children’s sleep is messed up with—-it affects their learning capacity and the way they deal with other people. Teenagers who have insomnia or other sleeping disorders may also have issues with interacting with other people during the day. They seem to lack enthusiasm and they seem to lose the glow that most kids still have.

To help a teenager sleep well, his bed quarters should be free from clutter and should be relaxing.  Also, parents must establish a sleeping schedule—-making sure that the kids get ample amount of sleep at night. A daily night ritual can also help a great deal, according to experts.

Relaxed reading, a short walk outside, listening to relaxing music, meditation, and even watching light sitcoms may aid the teenager get some sleep. It is important that the patient is already relaxed at least an hour before bedtime. Video games, computer, and all sorts of gadgets must be away during this hour. Studies reveal that these gadgets over stimulate the brain, causing it to reject sleep when it’s bedtime.

Drinking a warm glass of milk is very soothing and may help one with insomnia to fall asleep easily. The same is true for a warm bath, scented with relaxing essential oils like lavender and chamomile. Some soft glow lights installed at the bedroom may also help relax the mind and body, helping those who can’t sleep easily.

Teenagers need as much quality sleep as they can get at night. If they show some signs if sleeping disorders, it would be great if the doctor can check them right away so as to address the issue.