Got a teen in your house? Teenager Sleep Problems
Teen age is one of the most important time in a person’s life developmentally, and with video games, electronics, and all kinds of nightlife getting more popular among teens, sleep becomes less prioritized. We want to take this opportunity to share some of the issues and solutions to parents and teens on teenager sleep problems.
Teenagers today spend most of their time on their electronic devices: computers, cell phones, video games, iPads, etc. With the rise of technology, they become more obsessed with screens. Screen time directly interfere with sleep quality and time. The blue light may reduce melatonin which is the sleep-inducing hormone. Parents should register control on how long their teens can use electronics and have “no-electronics” policy an hour or two before bedtime.
Junk Food/ Fast Food & Alcohol
Teens love junk food and alcohol. During teen age, parties become wilder and there will be alcohol involved too. Teens who indulge on sweets, fried foods, and processed foods are at high risk for reduced sleep time and quality. Junk food are usually hard to digest. Processed foods and sugar are all hard on the stomach especially if you have them before bed and can affect your sleep. Also, teenagers have not yet built up tolerance for alcohol like adults, and alcohol can disrupt sleep cycles. We suggest that teens cut back on junk food and cook homemade food more often. Exercising regular can also help with sleep.
Teens are going through puberty and hormones make their biological clock shift back one or two hours, making them sleep later. However, due to their early school start time, they are often sleep-deprived. Teens should make note of their body and set earlier time to go to bed. Taking melatonin supplements can also help you fall asleep faster.
Stress from School
Schoolwork can be hectic especially for students taking a lot of advanced courses. Teens during this time are also preparing to go to college, which can be overwhelming as they take on more responsibilities.
One thing that people tend to neglect is the emphasis we place on “being active” in this culture. In the western culture, being active is valued more than being restful. Teens are especially subjected to the social stigma that they shouldn’t be sleeping when everyone else is partying or “pulling an all-nighter”. Parents should educate teens about peer pressure and make them aware of the importance of sleep.
Whatever the reason is, sleep can be a challenge for teens. See which is affecting your teen's sleep so you catch the problem early on.