Useful Tips

Insomnia in adolescents - how to fight?


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Recommendations for normalizing sleep

Many parents have difficulty communicating with their children during their transitional years. Along with this, in order to successfully overcome insomnia, you still have to try to learn how to talk with the child, otherwise any therapeutic measures will not have any positive effect. In practice, there are few recommendations.

  1. The patient needs to learn to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Thanks to this, the so-called the reflex of falling asleep. It is better not to sleep during the day - there may be difficulties with night rest, significantly reducing its quality.
  2. The child needs less time in front of the TV and at the computer, especially at night.
  3. The use of energy drinks should be minimized, ideally completely excluded from the life of the patient.
  4. In the sleeping room, you need to create the appropriate conditions: darkness, silence, ensure the absence of various provoking and irritating factors, etc.

When should I go to the doctor?

If the aforementioned auxiliary actions did not give the desired positive effect, the child’s body is more likely to experience more serious problems and difficulties. These may include all sorts of diseases, for the successful diagnosis of which you need to contact a qualified specialist.

The doctor will study the individual characteristics of the patient and prescribe treatment that is relevant and effective specifically in his case.

If the disease has developed on a psycho-emotional background, a teenager may be recommended to work with a psychotherapist.

Remember: only a competent and experienced specialist can help a person cope with psychological trauma and various disorders by attaching him to positive emotions and teach him how to maintain internal balance

Timely respond to adverse health changes, seek qualified medical help and be healthy!

Causes of Insomnia

According to medical studies, the sleep norm for a child of 14-15 years old is 8.5-9 hours, which means that he should go to bed at 22.00 in the evening, if he needs to get up to school at 7.00 in the morning. However, many children at this age have problems with falling asleep. Insomnia in adolescence is common (about 12.5% ​​of children 14 years of age) and often happens not because of their reluctance to sleep, but because the child’s brain is not ready to fall asleep.

The most common reason for this is the late production of the hormone melatonin, which occurs at this age later than in adults. As a result, the child’s brain can’t tune in to the process of falling asleep, and worries and thoughts about this also do not contribute to solving the problem.

Causes of insomnia in adolescents:

  • Physiological changes (hormonal changes) in the body of a child at this age.
  • Emotional tension (stresses, depressions, experiences) when children at this age are worried for some reason that seems to be trifling as an adult.
  • Improperly composed or disturbed daily routines, especially during the vacation period, when the child tries to go to bed later, explaining that he will “sleep well tomorrow” and then sleep for a long time in the morning and afternoon, making efforts to “catch up” sleep time or get enough sleep (which is completely impossible according to the research conducted by scientists) - the usual schedule of the day and, accordingly, sleep is knocked down.
  • Large loads (mental and emotional), which is most often associated with school requirements.
  • Weak physical activity, because at this age movement, sports, active games are extremely necessary for normal development.
  • Bad habits that appear when a child has a lot of free time, when he can get addicted to smoking, drinking low-alcohol drinks, drugs (this also includes coffee and various energy drinks).
  • Improperly organized preparation for bed (lack of a ritual of falling asleep, uncomfortable atmosphere in the room or uncomfortable bed).
  • The most common reason now is online communication and the influence of the Internet.

How does insomnia manifest

Parents who have a child aged 14-15 years, need to monitor with increased attention to his health and quality of sleep. The cause for concern may be, first of all, a decrease in the time of night sleep, when the child sleeps less than 8 hours.

You also need to observe the period when the process of falling asleep occurs. For a healthy person, this time is usually up to 15 minutes, and if a teenager “fumbles” and cannot fall asleep for a long time (up to 2 hours) due to untimely thoughts, memories, music or the inconvenience of the bed, this should make parents think about reasons for this.

Quite often, insomnia in adolescents manifests itself in night awakenings associated with various troubles (nightmare, noise, etc.). A healthy child usually falls asleep immediately, and someone who suffers from sleep problems can spend some time on it.

A clear sign of lack of sleep is the difficult process of getting a baby out of bed in the morning. After nightly sleep problems, the teenager feels a sense of frustration and discomfort. If this sensation does not disappear in the next half hour, then it is a symptom of insomnia.

Teenage Insomnia: Treatment

Parents in this situation are concerned about insomnia in a teenager. What to do, they ask. According to medical reports, insomnia is not some kind of human disease, but only one of the symptoms of an unexplained health problem. Therefore, the first step to solve this problem is to find out and clarify the causes of sleep disturbances.

Then parents should help their child deal with this problem. After all, the main thing is to break the vicious circle when depression and other problems cause impaired falling asleep in a child, and then insomnia itself is the cause of the subsequent physical and psychological disorders in the health of a teenager.

Activities to normalize sleep

Insomnia in adolescents, if it is of a short-term nature, can be eliminated with the help of certain measures that parents should take, regardless of the reasons causing insomnia:

  1. A ban on late dinner, especially with spicy, smoked and fatty foods, chocolate and sweets, strong coffee and tea. If the child wants to have dinner before bedtime, then it will be optimal to offer him any dairy products.
  2. Inspect the child’s bed and bedroom for replacement of uncomfortable bedding or the bed itself. It is recommended to remove irritating factors that may prevent falling asleep.
  3. Reduce communication with the phone, TV and computer in the evening, turn off all equipment an hour before bedtime.
  4. If a child sleeps in a common room, then it is important to fence off a children's zone for him, for example, using a screen.

Insomnia Prevention

Parents often cannot agree on some pressing issues with their growing child. However, only this can help to overcome the problem of insomnia. Finding a common language with him is extremely necessary in order to solve this problem together in the following ways:

  • arrange that the child goes to bed constantly at the same time, then he will develop the necessary reflex,
  • abandon daytime sleep (if it was earlier), make sure that the child does not fall asleep after 5 p.m.,
  • to prohibit using a computer and watching TV in the evening, especially films and games with elements of fights and horrors,

  • explain that you need to abandon the consumption of stimulating drinks in the afternoon, in the evening it is better to drink herbal tea (soothing better - mint, lemon balm and other herbs),
  • after going to bed, provide darkness in the teenager’s room, this will help accelerate the production of melatonin.

Treatment for chronic insomnia

When insomnia in adolescents does not go away for a long time despite the fact that all measures to eliminate it from the side of the parents and the child have already been taken, it makes sense to talk about the chronic form of the disease, then it is possible to use treatment with medicinal herbs or medicines.

Remedies for insomnia for adolescents should be prescribed by a doctor who will help determine the cause of poor sleep and recommend solutions to such a problem. Most often, experts recommend the following medications:

  1. Melatonin (sleep hormone) can be used for treatment only for a short period and only after the onset of puberty in a teenager.
  2. Various teas based on herbal preparations: chamomile, mint, from passiflora. Such tea should be drunk half an hour before falling asleep.
  3. Valerian is considered the most common plant for the elimination of sleep disorders, but there is a risk (namely in adolescence) of obtaining the opposite effect, when valerian root can cause increased anxiety.

When a doctor is needed

If all measures to improve the process of falling asleep and improving the quality of night sleep in a child do not help, then you may need to consult a doctor. Insomnia can be caused by diseases of the nervous system or psychological problems in a child.

Therefore, in the case of emotional disorders, it is best to have an interview with a psychologist. Such a highly qualified specialist will be able to help the child cope with his negative emotions and solve "teenage problems."

A specialist psychologist will teach a teenager to control their emotions, prevent the negative impact of emotional stress (quarrels in the family and with friends, trouble at school, etc.), and also recommend that parents improve their family relationships and prevent explicit clarification of relationships in the presence of the teenager, which is also a common cause of psychological problems.

A good emotional balance in such a situation should stabilize the mental state of the adolescent.