Teenagers seem to be a species all on their own! They’re not kids anymore but they’re not adults either. Teens have their own unique set of problems as well, including teenage insomnia…
Insomnia in teenagers
What’s the difference between teenage insomnia (adolescent insomnia) and adult insomnia? Well insomnia in teens can be caused by a unique set of circumstances caused by changing physiology, life changes and stress.
The circadian rhythm undergoes a change when kids hit puberty. This may be due to the demands of a growing body and, in some cases, hormonal imbalances. Unfortunately this usually coincides with heavier school activity, maybe a part time job, dating, sports and of course trying to fit a social life into all this.
So teenagers aren’t getting the sleep they need, that’s fairly normal these days. Where the problem starts is when teens find they can’t switch off in the limited time they do have to sleep. This can easily escalate into teenage insomnia.
How much sleep do teenagers need?
Typically teens need 8 1/2 or more hours per night. With today’s hectic lifestyles that’s hardly possible unless they go to bed quite early. Unfortunately the sleep hormone melatonin is produced later at night in teens than it is for kids and adults, making going to sleep early nearly impossible. Getting up in the morning is very hard and some teens struggle to make it through the day. This is called delayed sleep phase syndrome.
Helping teenage insomnia
Talk to your teenager, make sure there is nothing worrying him. Stress and anxiety are prime causes of insomnia at any age.
Make sure he’s getting enough exercise even if it means turning off the TV or computer for 30 minutes. Exercise helps reduce stress making it easier to fall asleep.
Check out what he’s drinking! If he’s having cola drinks or energy drinks in the evening these could be keeping him awake. These types of drinks are high in caffeine and not at all healthy.
Check his bedroom (if you dare!) Make sure there’s no light coming through the windows at night. Place his electronic clock away from the bed or turn it towards the wall. Ensure his bed is comfortable.
If despite your best efforts there’s no improvement, take him to the doctor. Please make sure he is not prescribed sleeping pills however! This could set him up with lifetime sleep problems. A better choice could be a naturopath who will only suggest natural and nutritional remedies.
SerenitePlus is an herbal formula specially formulated by a clinical psychologist for teenagers and adults. The natural ingredients are chosen for their soothing properties to assist with restlessness at night and to wind down naturally after a hectic day. Being in tincture form, SerenitePlus is quickly absorbed and gets to work almost immediately as a natural sleep tonic.
If your teen is under 15, the page on child sleep may help him further
Sleep deprived teenagers may become depressed over time. This further disrupts their school work and their sleep. Teenage insomnia can also turn into adult insomnia if it’s not dealt with early.
Help and support your teen through this often stressful time and seek help early if the problems persist.