Tips to Avoid Sleep Disorders in Teens

June 9, 2019
During adolescence, certain habits and lifestyles can affect teenagers' sleep. In this article, discover some tips to avoid sleep disorders in teens!

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good physical and mental health. However, teenagers are increasingly suffering from poor quality sleep. This is why we decided to share some tips to avoid sleep disorders in teens.

Generally, teens should sleep at least eight hours a day. Therefore, we must know the different causes and factors that make it hard for them to get good quality sleep. Only then will you be able to solve any sleep problem.

Tips to Avoid Sleep Disorders in Teens

1. Reduce the Risk of and Fight Obesity

More and more children and teens are overweight nowadays due to an improper lifestyle.

One study showed a relationship between teens who have a harder time falling asleep and their BMI, which was higher than the rest. This confirms the issue of child and adolescent obesity, which is becoming more serious.

If left untreated, sleep disorders influence eating habits, which means they can worsen obesity.

In this sense, it’s essential for teens to eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meat, fish, and eggs. The meals they eat at home should be based on these food groups. They should also avoid too much refined flour, fried foods, and sugar.

However, physical activity is also essential, as it helps them maintain their weight. Teens must stay active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

You should also read: Two Diets for Children with Obesity

2. Regulate Cell Phone Use

Another reason why sleep disorders are common in teens nowadays is new technology. It’s hard for parents to control the number of hours their teens spend on their cell phones and computers or watching TV or playing video games.

These devices expose teens to overstimulation that’s very harmful to their health. It directly affects the nervous system and alters the body’s natural biorhythms, which affects sleep.

However, this is a factor that not only affects adolescents, but also their parents. Thus, cell phone use must be regulated for everyone. Also, you shouldn’t allow your teens to use any device two hours before bed.

3. Quit Tobacco Use

A teen smoking.

Unfortunately, make people start smoking during their adolescence, which can lead to insomnia.

There may also be a relationship between the bad habit of smoking and poor sleep quality in young people. For the same reason, quitting smoking could help your teen sleep better.

To help your teen overcome nicotine dependence, you should be patient and understanding with them. In addition, know that the teen may need some support to do so.

This article may interest you: How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

4. Parents’ Night Hours and Sleep Disorders

Finally, another factor that’s related to sleep disorders in teens has been mentioned in several studies: some parents’ night hours. For example, when one of them works the night shift.

In this regard, it’s essential to respect all the family member’s sleep schedules. If the teen already has a hard time falling asleep, they may be easily awakened.

General Tips to Prevent Sleep Disorders

Good sleep hygiene will allow teens to rest and perform well in their daily activities.

  • Your teen should go to bed every night at the same time.
  • They should follow a balanced diet and pay attention to the food they eat at night.
  • You should make sure your teen avoids consuming stimulants (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks).
  • They should fight obesity.
  • Make sure your teen avoids a sedentary lifestyle and does a physical activity several times a week.
  • They should avoid smoking and drinking.
  • You should regulate cell phone use and the use of technology in general, especially in the hours before bed.
  • Make sure to establish a sleep schedule and avoid nighttime activities that may disturb your family’s rest.
  • Make sure your teen’s bedroom is a quiet and dark place with a proper temperature.
  • In some cases, sleep disorders can also be related to an excess of tasks or social or work activities, so make sure that your teen’s schedule isn’t too overburdened. It doesn’t matter what college they’re trying to get into if they’re not healthy while doing it.

We hope you’ll apply these tips to help your teens sleep better. Only this way will they be able to perform well and accomplish their tasks.

  • Chen, D. R., Truong, K. D., & Tsai, M. J. (2013). Prevalence of poor sleep quality and its relationship with body mass index among teenagers: Evidence from Taiwan. Journal of School Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12068
  • Chaput, J. P., & Dutil, C. (2016). Lack of sleep as a contributor to obesity in adolescents: Impacts on eating and activity behaviors. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-016-0428-0
  • Atkinson, G., & Davenne, D. (2007). Relationships between sleep, physical activity and human health. Physiology and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.09.015
  • Dugas, E. N., Sylvestre, M. P., O’Loughlin, E. K., Brunet, J., Kakinami, L., Constantin, E., & O’Loughlin, J. (2017). Nicotine dependence and sleep quality in young adults. Addictive Behaviors. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.10.020