Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Teens the age group that defies sleep

Posted by amykr on February 2, 2009

I have a teenager so I know what an interesting age group that is.  They set their priorities differently then us, they keep active with different activities and their circadian rhythm is different then ours. So as a parent what do you need to know to make sure your teen is healthy, happy and not sleep deprived.  Of course sleep deprivation and teen behavior can look identical at times.  It is important that we help them get the best sleep they can because it will affect many aspects of their lives.

So what effects do a lack of sleep have on our teens.  The immediate one you will notice is attitude.  People who are sleep deprived are short tempered.  They also have difficulty in learning new information and retaining it.  This will affect their grades and performance in school.  It also effects performance elsewhere including there ability to drive.  A study performed by SADD found that teens who are chronically sleep deprived at twice as likely to get into a car accident. 

Their health is also being tested,  When they have a sleep disorder you contribute to the chance of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, morning headaches, and other problems that will have long term effects on them.

So how could we help our teens get a good night sleep.  The first thing is to help create an environment that encourages sleep.  A television , computer or game system can distract them from the primary purpose of a bedroom which is sleep.  Limit the amount of equipment in their room and it should all be turned off at the same time 7 days a week.  Our bodies really do not understand the difference between weekdays and weekends.  Have them create a routine.  A hot shower helps them to fall asleep because the cooling off of the body afterwords mimics the body’s circadian rhythm.  If your child snores, gasps or has pauses in her breathing then you need to talk to your child’s pediatrician because these issues are not normal. 

Our teens have a tough time on a day to day basis just being a teen.  If we can make their sleep more productive then they will have that much better of a day.

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