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By Steven Schlozman, MD. Posted in: Hot Topics. According to research, many kids who continuously sleep well, often do so from very early in their lives.
23 things to do when you can’t sleep
These are the kids with parents who often look well rested, despite having just brought into the world. When we talk about sleep and older kids or teens, the first thing to think about is whether the trouble sleeping is a new problem. If your child has always slept well and then, at age nine or 10, suddenly starts having a hard time falling asleep, you need to think about some of the normal, developmental challenges that might be interrupting bedtime.
These kinds of problems are the subject of this article.
Is your pre-teen with trouble sleeping about to change schools? About to move to a new home? Is everything alright at home? You should even consider whether there are new foods in the diet — caffeine, even in the afternoon, is a fairly common cause.
Can't sleep? here are 11 surprising causes
Does your teen have difficulty falling asleep? Does he or she wake up more often. Is it a combination of both?
Depressionanxietytraumaand bipolar disorder all share sleep disruptions as important s and symptoms. There are other, less common psychiatric syndromes, as well. So, teenagers are hard-wired to futz around deep into the night, and then sleep healthily late into the morning.
What to do if you can't sleep
And teens, in fact, need even more sleep than slightly younger kids; they use up a lot of energy as their brains and bodies rapidly mature. The result is increasingly tired teens. The first two periods of class in high school are often very different for teens than the courses they have at end of the day.
Every seasoned teacher knows this.
Let’s talk about sleep apnea
It is still worth looking for these same stressors—new schools, changes in social relationships, problems in the home. How do we define sleep hygiene?
Twenty to 30 years ago, good sleep hygiene often means things like reading before bed rather than watching TV. Today, other things that can interfere with teens falling asleep include late-night exercise, or phone conversations deep into the night. A teen is biologically wired to connect with other teens.
That means that kids are often talking on the phone or doing sit-ups and push-ups sometimes well past midnight. Neither of these stimulating activities is very helpful for restful sleep. However, we all know that the world has gotten a lot more complicated.
Steam linking is here!
To the socially and intellectually-active brain of a teen, these consuming activities out-compete the pleasant nighttime reading that used to do the trick. Do you want to watch your favorite show when it airs on TV, or watch ALL the episodes of your favorite shows at once through streaming videos?
Modern parents need to be even more vigilant around the sleep habits of their teenage kids than was the case just 15 years ago.
The odds are stacked against you—kids have a way of feeding those hungry brains—but remember that poor sleep has a cumulative effect, and can lead to academic and social difficulties. These are issues that can snowball fast.
For parents of kids of all ages, here are some general guidelines: the best cure, as simple as it sounds, is a consistent bedtime schedule. For pre-adolescents, try sticking to a routine that allows these goals to be met:. Finally, remember that poor sleep, or the lack of sleep, is a national problem. The United States is notorious among Western nations for its poor sleep habits.
Adults are often as guilty as children when it comes to healthy bedtime routines. To read full bio. Thanks for visiting the Clay Center.
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Why your kids can’t sleep, and how to help
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