By: Colleen Andre, LMHC
Coming out of vacation and starting school is tough. What is even tougher is regulating your teen back into a healthy sleeping schedule. No school and infinite play time mean staying up into the wee hours of the night.
Teens typically sleep about 7 and 7 ¼ hours of sleep but most of them need 9 and 9 ½ hours. During vacation, teens have ample time to fill up their sleep need but once school starts it is the first to go. Therefore, as a parent, it is imperative to help your child start school on the right side of the bed. Here are 5 tips to help regulate your teen’s sleep.
1. Start early and gradually:
Do not wait until the day before school to implement your teen’s sleep schedule. Your teen has been staying up for the past week or months until 1 am or later. Their bodies will not magically fall into timely tired and wake patterns. As a result, encourage or even enforce earlier and earlier bedtimes as school is approaching to help teen sleep. Do not budge even if it is the weekend!
2. Eliminate screen time
Remove all electronic devices from your teen an hour or two before bedtime. Lights emitted by devices can jolt the body into wake mode and delay natural hormonal releases to help sleep. Often times, teens will gravitate to their devices to pass time hoping to feel tired. What they do not realize is that the tool they are using is keeping them from what they want. Sleep!
3. Use natural remedies
Give your teen some warm milk or tea (noncaffeinated) right before sleep in order to help the body wind down. Along similar lines, taking a hot bath or shower closer to bedtime also soothes tense muscle. The warm water ultimately relaxes the body for rest.
4. Having the right environment
Make sure your teens have set up their bedrooms to be the ideal sleep setting. Ideal sleeping environments include removing all light sources. So, the room is essentially pitch black. Additionally, you want to ensure the temperature is just right so your teen is not woken up by nightly sweats.
5. All else fails
It is important to visit your family doctor if teen sleep issues have been a prolonged battle. The issue maybe physiological such as sleep apnea. In addition, some doctors may suggest utilizing melatonin as a natural supplement to help induce the sleep aid hormone.
If you have tried every tip under the sun, ruled out all physiological issues, and your teen is still having issues than psychological distress may be the problem. Anxiety and depression can be factors impeding your child’s sleep along with other health aspects.
It is important to seek help from your local counselor in order to address and resolve these issues. Call Life Counseling Solutions at 407.622.1770 to set up an appointment or a free 15-minute consultation with me. Or, make your first appointment online by clicking here.
About Colleen: Colleen values the importance of a comfortable and non-judgmental atmosphere. At the heart of her work, she seeks to create a safe environment in which clients can feel at ease while working through life’s difficulties. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anger management, trauma, and anxiety. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or racial issues. Ultimately, her goal is to help clients uncover the source of their distress so that they can begin to heal.See Colleen’s full bio.