Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, but if your teen is struggling with sleep issues, it’s best to deal with them sooner rather than later.
How Much Sleep Does a Teen Need?
Teens are still growing, so they need more sleep than an adult. Nine to ten hours, and up to eleven hours, will be the norm. However, various lifestyle and other issues mean that teens seldom get as much sleep as they really need in order to maintain optimal health.
Teen Sleep Stealers
One of the main reasons teens don’t get enough sleep are the many aspects of their lives that get in the way of sleep, and/or require them to need high-quality, rejuvenating sleep - which can be difficult if they have sleep issues.
Common sleep stealers include:
* Too much schoolwork and studying
* Too much screen time on computers, smartphones, and other devices
* Too much game time
* Too much time on the phone talking or texting friends
* General stress
* Particular stressors, such as exams, bullying, relationship issues, worrying about getting into particular colleges, and so on
* Too many extracurricular activities, especially sports
* Too much TV / overly stimulating movies such as horror films or action films, especially before bed
* Media in the bedroom, such as a TV/DVD or streaming on a smartphone or tablet
* Too much exercise within a couple of hours of bedtime - it serves to energize the body
The Consequences of Poor Sleep
There a number of consequences related to poor sleep, some more severe than others. A lack of sleep can cause:
* Accidents and injuries
* Behavioral problems
* Mood disorders, such as stress, irritability, depression and anxiety
* Memory, concentration, and learning problems, often described as a "brain fog"
* Slower reaction times, such as when playing sports, or when adults are driving
* Overeating, binge eating
* Gaining weight, mainly due to the lack of sleep affecting the hormones that impact metabolism and weight loss
How Parents Can Help
It can be tough with teens, because they want to be independent and often view themselves as adults. They also often have erratic schedules, especially once they get to high school, where they might have free periods and varying start times in school. However, here are some ways you can help.
1. Establish a regular bedtime for yourself each night, in order to set a good example for your teen.
2. Establish a regular wake-up time seven days a week for everyone in the family.
3. Make time for a proper breakfast that includes protein. It will set everyone up for the day and help reduce food cravings and bad food choices.
4. Cut back on caffeine. Teens don’t drink much coffee and tea these days to get a caffeine buzz, but they do go for Red Bull, Monster and other energy drinks. Cutting caffeine can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headache, but can also improve quality of sleep long term.
5. Try to have a sit-down dinner as a family at least three nights a week. Both parents and teens have crazy schedules, but a sit-down dinner is a great chance to connect with one another and also helps signal the end of the work and school day.
6. Encourage your teen to have a relaxing bedtime routine, such as a shower, comfortable sweats, and some light reading.
7. Do not allow electronics in their bedroom.
There are a lot of guys out there that have seen television shows and movies that have one of those dating guru type guys promising to get you any woman you ever wanted to fall madly in love with you. There are also websites that you’ve probably seen along with eBooks all over the internet that promise you the same things as well. While these “guru’s” are making quite a lot of money with their promises, what they aren’t telling you is that it’s all a scam. They want you to give them their hard earned money so that they can go out and buy things while you sit at home reading their information.
For the most part, these guys promise you the world but very rarely ever deliver. In fact, if you actually look at what they are trying to sell you, you will find that all you have to do is go out and act like a jackass, and you will get laid every night of the week. The truth is, any woman that would fall for any guy that acts that way deserves the relationship she ends up with. If you want to have a real relationship, then you are going to have to be yourself.
Being yourself is one of the hardest and most important things that you can do in order to gain the trust that a relationship is based on. If you go into the beginning of a relationship with her thinking you are some flashy rich guy, and it turns out that you drive a Pinto and live in your mother’s basement, when she finds out you can pretty much kiss any chance of being with her again goodbye. Women don’t want to be lied to, even if it’s something small, and starting a relationship out this way will cause it to end very quickly.
All those gurus want you to ACT like you are confident when the truth is you should BE confident. There is no reason for you to act like you are confident it you really aren’t. The woman you are interested in is going to know right away if you have the confidence to be with her or not. Think of it as eating fast food your entire life and suddenly finding yourself in a 5 start French restaurant, ordering wine in French. The waiter is going to know that you aren’t from France, and she is going to know you aren’t confident.
The best thing to do is be truthful and honest with her. Tell her that you don’t have the money to go out to a fancy restaurant, then turn around and make a romantic picnic out of things you can afford. Do something small but elegant to show her who you are on the inside and you will find that it will impress her much more than trying to pull off the bad boy routine that you just paid $29.95 for online. The choice is yours, but making it the right choice is what she deserves from you.
In this guide, the Dating and Relationships content discussed focuses on traditional male/female relationships. For supplemental material and resources with regards to significant others in same gender relationships, simply key in words or phrases pertaining to the information you seek into your favorite search engine directory.