Subscribe to the free KidsGrowth weekly email newsletter by entering your email address below.



Advertising links will direct you off of the KidsGrowth Web site. KidsGrowth is neither responsible for nor does it necessarily endorse the privacy practices, content or products of these sites.

Should schools "profile" all students to identify those who may become violent?
Yes: No:

Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices

Is your teen having trouble sleeping at night?

Please title this page. (Page 7)

One would think that teenagers have enough to deal with without having sleep problems too. Yet many teenagers suffer from a variety of sleep disorders, many of which are exacerbated by early-morning school schedules and late night social lives.

Not being able to fall asleep after going to bed at night, or even waking up after falling asleep or waking up too early in the morning, is usually referred to as INSOMNIA. The causes of insomnia are many and can be either minor or be a symptom of something more serious.

In teenagers insomnia is so frequent that it is almost "normal."  For some reason teens fall asleep later than they did as children. For example, if a child was used to going to bed at 8 PM, a teen probably is not ready for sleep until l0:00 or l1:00pm (No wonder so many teenagers complain of not being able to fall asleep, and then feeling tired at school the next morning)

The most common cause of insomnia, other that just being a teenager, is stress. Many teenagers have anxiety about a lot of things going on in their lives. For example, family problems, worrying about being popular with friends, fear of flunking a subject, and a bad social experience can all cause trouble with sleep. A schedule that's just too hectic and busy can cause difficulty in falling asleep. Insomnia with early morning wakening is one of the most common features of depression in teenagers. Therefore, a teen with insomnia should be evaluated by their physician to make sure eveything is okay.

Stimulants such as caffeine – from coffee, tea, chocolate or colas – can interfere with sleep for many hours after consumption. Sleep can be interrupted either by making it difficult to fall asleep or by wakening later in the night. Similarly nicotine is also a stimulant and can disturb sleep. Some medicines including tablets used to treat asthma and weight loss have stimulant effects.

Should your teen find him or herself in bed turning and tossing - it is best to sit up, go into another room, and read something that might make them may sleepy (like geometry!), and then try to go to sleep when they get drowsy.

Here are some helpful hints for those night owl teens who suffer from insomnia.

  • Go to bed at the same time each day 7 days a week
  • A light bedtime snack can promote sleep; hunger is a sleep disrupter
  • Set the alarm and get up at the same time every morning, regardless of how much they have slept through the night..
  • Have your teen spend 20 minutes in a hot tub or shower a few hours before going to bed
  • Avoid napping during the daytime
  • Encourage your teen to get regular exercise each day in the late afternoon or early evening but not within 3 hours of going to sleep
  • Keep the temperature in their bedroom comfortable.
  • Keep their bedroom quiet when sleeping.
  • Keep their bedroom dark . Avoid illuminated bedroom clocks
  • Suggest your teen use their bed only for sleeping. They should not read, watch television, or eat in bed
  • They should take medicines only as directed. by their physician
  • Avoid engaging in stimulating activity just before bed. Examples include playing a competitive game of cards or watching an exciting program on television.
  • Avoid caffeine. Remember that caffeine is present in chocolate, as well as regular coffee or tea, and caffeinated sodas.
  • Suggest to your teen that they should not lie in bed awake for more than half an hour. Instead, get up, move to another room, do some quiet activity (like reviewing geometry) , then return to bed when they are sleepy. They should do this as many times in a night as necessary. The goal is to associate bed with falling asleep easily.

Remind your teen that for best results, these tips should be tried over a period of time. Usually, they will need two to four weeks to see the best results.


As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

Advertising links will direct you off of the KidsGrowth Web site. KidsGrowth is neither responsible for
nor does it necessarily endorse the privacy practices, content or products of these sites.

| home | contact us | about us |

| parenting & behavioral | child development | growth milestones |

| childhood conditions | seesaw | book reviews | Advertise on KidsGrowth

Copyright © 1999-2016 KG Investments, LLC.

Usage Policy and Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Web Design by Gecko Media