Recently, the issue of teen sleep deprivation has caught the eye of many concerned parents as well as healthcare professionals.
According to a post by npr.org, around 1 in 6 parents say their teen experiences frequent sleep problems. The same poll revealed that parents concerned about their teen’s sleeping difficulties tend to divide into two groups. Some believe electronic devices are to blame while others think it’s the irregular schedule that causes poor quality sleep.
If we are to look at what keeps teens up at night, data suggests 23 percent of them are worried about their social life while 31 percent are worried about school. As a result, they end up getting seven hours of sleep a night, instead of 8-9 like they’re supposed to.
Fortunately, Sarah Clark – a researcher at Child Health Evaluation and Research Center (University of Michigan) – suggests there are a couple of things parents can do to help their busy teens sleep better at night.
4 Tips to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation
1. Keep a constant bedtime routine
This one is probably the oldest trick in the book. But the reason why a regular bedtime routine still a popular recommendation among sleep experts is that it really pays off. Going to bed and waking up at the same hour means our body gets all the rest it needs. That way, we avoid feeling tired and sleepy throughout the day.
2. Put all devices away before bedtime
We know for a fact that many teens spend their evenings playing video games, watching sitcoms, or scrolling through social media. Experts warn that screen time before bed can affect the quality of sleep. The best way to prevent this is by instilling the “no devices two hours before bed” rule.
3. Avoid caffeine and energy drinks
To keep up with the pressure of academic performance and social life, teens often resort to caffeine or energy drinks. While these substances do help them stay awake and active throughout the day, consuming them in the afternoon can cause sleep disturbances later at night.
4. Address a healthcare professional
In the end, as Sarah Clark suggests, parents should take the time to listen to their kids. If your teen is complaining about sleep problems, perhaps it’s time to consult a healthcare professional.
If left unchecked, teen sleep deprivation could result in serious physical and mental health problems.
To learn more about teen treatment options, click here.