Teen Sleeping and Health

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November 6, 2012HealthNo comments

Have a teenager who suffers from mood swings, has poor concentration, and perhaps even has discipline problems in school? While it’s easy to chalk it up to just being a teenager, there is research that suggests that these symptoms, as well as several others, may be the results of your teen simply not getting enough sleep each night. The more you know about how important your teen’s snoozing pattern is, the more effective you may be at getting back the child you once knew!

The Problem

According to the American Psychological Association, most teens are only getting around 7.5 hours per sleep each night by the time they are 16 years old. During their earlier years they were getting around 10 hours per night. What’s more, research shows that 26 percent of teens are getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night. The problem with this is that it’s recommended that teenagers get at least 9 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, the research indicates that around 90 percent of the teens in the country are not meeting that requirement.

Finding a Solution

Whether it’s the fast paced full-to-the-brim lifestyles that we live today or the fact that many teens are staying up late for social reasons, one thing is for sure – they are not getting the sleep they need. Here are a few tips to help get teens back to bed so that they are getting their 9 hours of sleep each night:

  • Discuss the issue. Talk to your teens about the importance of getting enough sleep. Let them know how important it is and the many ways that it can help them in their life.
  • Have a schedule. Set a schedule that you and your teen can live with that also gets them to bed earlier. Then, stick to the schedule as much as possible. Try smartphone parental control software on your teen’s smartphone to control when the phone can or cannot be used.
  • Cut long naps. Some teens may want to come home from school and crash on the couch to sleep. While a short 20-30 minute refresher will not keep them up at night, a long nap will. Avoid letting them take long naps, which will only keep them up later at night.
  • Unplug earlier. As part of your schedule determine a time to unplug from electronics. Often times it is cell phones, computers, and other mobile devices keeping teens up late at night.
  • Withhold caffeine. Since it is a stimulant and will keep them up at night, set a time that they can’t have caffeine after each night. While it may seem trivial to pay attention to what they are drinking, taking in a lot of caffeine at night can leave them staring at the ceiling for a while.
  • Limit obligations. Many teens work or are over-scheduled. These activities should be kept to a manageable level that still allows them to get the proper sleep that they need each night.
  • Child Monitoring Software. Child monitoring software on the computers, tablets, and smartphones that the teen uses will not only make sure that your child behaves properly with these advanced devices, but also give you tons of insight into what exactly is distracting your teen.

Helping teenagers to get more sleep each night will not only put them in a better mood, but it’s also likely to help them get better grades. They will be less likely to have difficulty staying awake in the classroom, will be able to concentrate better, and will be ready to take on the day!

Kelly Austin is an author who contributes to technology and parenting blogs to help parents with modern-day problems. Kelly recognizes problems and suggests answers for today’s parents in this fast-paced world. Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyAustin86