Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens

 

Get A Clue. Learn to recognize the signs of sleep deprivation and sleepiness. If your son or daughter needs several alarms to get up in the morning, or if they are falling asleep during the day, they are probably not getting enough sleep at night. Ask their teachers how alert they appear during the day at school. And keep in mind that many signs of sleepiness, like difficulty focusing or remembering, can look a lot like signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Give Them A Clue, Too. Help your teens understand the importance of sleep and how poor or insufficient sleep can affect them. Without proper sleep, they may be more irritable or depressed and have trouble getting along with others. Their grades may suffer. They may even score lower in sports or video games.

Take A Nap. There's nothing wrong with a nap -- in the right place and at the right time. Teens need to keep their naps brief (less than one hour) and before late afternoon.

Watch What They Eat/Drink. Encourage your teens to stay away from caffeinated coffee, colas and nicotine in the afternoon -- these are all stimulants. Also avoid alcohol, which disrupts sleep.

Relax Before Bedtime. Have your kids avoid heavy reading, studying and computer games within one hour of going to bed. Don't let them fall asleep with the television on. Flickering light and stimulating content can inhibit restful sleep.

Be A Bedhead Not A Deadhead.You tell your kids to never drink and drive, right? Give them the same messages about sleepiness. Drowsy drivers kill or injure more than 72,000 people every year, and more than half of these drivers are under the age of 25. Remember: Friends don't let friends drive drowsy.

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