Teens need a lot of sleep. In fact, they should get between 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, even though the average teen only gets around 7 hours per night. A lack of sufficient sleep can result in limited ability to learn, concentrate, solve problems and remember details. Lack of sleep can also lead to skin problems, impatience and an inefficient immune system.
While it’s one thing to encourage your teen to avoid staying up late and to get enough sleep, it’s another trial altogether when your teen has a sleep issue. Here are some sleep issues your teen might face and how to cope with them.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
A circadian rhythm disorder is when your body falls out of its natural sleep cycle and routine. In other words, we are naturally disposed to be awake during the day and sleep during the night. Several things can disturb this rhythm, including jet lag, staying up all night or “pulling an all-nighter,” having to work overnight shifts or simply staying up extremely late on a regular basis. If your teen struggles with this, encourage them to go to sleep and wake up at them the same time every day. Tell them to avoid napping, even if they are quite tired. Discourage them from engaging in vigorous physical activity four hours before bedtime and to avoid caffeine altogether.
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Insomnia is a sleep disorder that describes individuals who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Teens might experience this due to stress, poor diets, poor sleep habits, depression or anxiety. If your teen struggles with insomnia, it’s helpful to consult a doctor. They will help establish proper sleeping habits while also determining the root cause of the sleep disorder.
We’ve all had nightmares—terrifying dreams that we are relieved to wake up from. Night terrors, on the other hand, are characterized by frequent episodes of crying and fear during sleep that don’t often wake the individual. In fact, they rarely remember that it happened. Night terrors are often caused by fear, stress, sleep deprivation or by anesthesia given during a recent surgery. While you can assist your teen by maintaining consistent bedtime schedules and routines, it’s also helpful to seek assistance from a medical professional.
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