How to improve sleep patterns in teenagers.
Everyone has done the all nighters to study for an exam or just burning the midnight oil for the fun of it. However, when a teenager begins this habitual sleep deprivation schedule it can actually hurt them both emotionally and academically. Back in the days when the only means of communication was a Bell Canada land line phone. Technology has opened a plethora of opportunities for teenagers to communicate with their friends without having to pick up a phone. In the 70s and 80s it was easy for us to shut the lights and get to bed. If we wanted to communicate or entertain ourselves we actually had to go to our friends or meet at mall or library. We would spend our time walking most of the time. There was no other form of communication back in the 70s and early 80s. You actually had to commute to spend time with friends or use the phone to call them. However the phone was not a very private form of communication so most of us preferred to spend time with our friends either at their homes or some other venue. Communication stopped at around 9:00 or 10:00 P.M. and if you were still on a call with your friend you would be certain your parents would be on the other line to end the call. Thinking of watching T.V. during the weekdays after 10 P.M.? That was never going to happen. The T.V. most likely would have disrupted your parents or other siblings. So what did we do to wind down? We read books or magazines.
Then came the mass Computer desktop market in the late 80s and early 90s. Wow! We have another form of communication? E-MAIL? Yes email. Since the time people learned they can communicate through a computer using E-MAIL it started changing the way we communicate. Than we learned to voice our opinions on the internet. Wow a way to say something without people looking at you! During the early 90s cell phones started becoming more popular and the cell phone market started booming. in the early 90s it was really only one parent that may have had a cell phone. During the late 90s cell phones started becoming more popular amongst teenagers and every teenager wanted one. Than social media came along like facebook, twitter and we hit a new age of communication. Later we hit the millennium companies started producing tablets like candy bars.
Now we are in the age of teenagers multitasking multiple devices at once. We have kids playing xbox, tablet, and going on the computer within the same hour. It used to be rare back in the 80s to see a T.V. in a teenagers room. Now these teenagers have access to multiple devices and yes they are in the room where they should be relaxing and sleeping. Teenagers rarely sit in front of the T.V. to watch a movie any-more. This devices have caused a phenomenon we know as sleep deprivation in teenagers. Not to mention they have been know to strain neck muscles and sometimes as adults they require surgery.
Strategies to help teenagers overcome their technology induced sleep deprivation.
- Start with having your child not bring any devices on their bed this included and tablets. The bed is meant for rest and sleep and what you are telling the brain that the bed is also used for other things besides sleep.
- Create a daily limit by using a some type of schedule. This includes cell phones.
- Try slowly removing devices away from the room. Start With the T.V. or video game consoles. Than gradually move towards the other technology objects.
- Your child should not be watching any devices an hour before they go to sleep.
- An hour before they go to sleep they should be in a room with dim light reading a book or magazine. Bright light in a room also signals to the brain it is still daylight and the circadian rhythm gets confused. A circadian Rhythm is analogous to a biological clock in your brain telling your brain and body it either time to rest or be awake. If you feed it more light, you are essentially rewinding the clock back to its daytime hours which will cause sleep deprivation.
What essentially you are trying to do is let your brain and body know it is time to wind down and your circadian rhythm will alert start working properly.
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