There are several practical hints and tips for parents that may help the teenager with sleep problems. Talking over worries may well help to put them into perspective.
- Try to impress on the teenager the importance of sleep and the need for at least eight hours’ sleep on school nights
- Encourage regular exercise - 20 minutes three times a week will help
- Suggest a reduction of caffeine intake (in coke drinks as well as coffee)
- Point out that eating too much or too little close to bedtime - an over full or empty stomach - may prevent sleep onset, or cause discomfort throughout the night
- Try and get the teenager into a going to bed routine - suggest that doing the same things in the same order before going to sleep can help
- Ensure a good sleep environment - a room that is dark, cool, quiet, safe and comfortable. For more information visit www.perfectsleepenvironment.org.uk
- Make sure the teenager has a comfortable bed. It may be time to get a new one - and encourage him or her to choose it themselves.
- Don’t give teenagers hand-me-down bedding. A good rule of thumb: if the bed’s no longer good for its first user it’s not good enough for a teenage child either.
Remember, habits learned in adolescence often become lifetime habits - so make sure good sleep habits are learned early.
Source The Sleep Council
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