Teens and how sleeping disorders affect them
April 20, 2015 0 Comments
There is no denying the importance of a good night of rest at any age. Despite this knowledge it is still a fact that many teenagers may not receive sufficient rest daily for a host of reasons. Insomnia is indeed a common problem for this age group which is troubling considering that it has been shown that adolescents need anywhere from eight and a half to nine and a half hours of sleep. A sleeping disorder may cause disruption in both the young person’s academic, personal and home life. Here are some of the more common sleeping disorders that may be likely to occur.
Sleep apnea can include difficulties such as snoring that more severe level than average sleepers. Teens with this condition will not receive enough air to their lungs, as their airway will become extremely contracted.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, often occurs in young people at night and disrupts sleep. The body has a muscular valve that is intended to keep stomach acid from returning to the esophagus. This disease causes the valve to malfunction, meaning stomach acid can reach the esophagus, leading to irritation that may disrupt sleep during the night.
Restless legs syndrome
This is a sensation that occurs in the legs of the sufferer that makes it difficult to avoid movement. Also called RLS, the issue is likely to first appear during the teenage years. RLS may lead to sleep disturbances and involuntary leg movements.
With this condition, a teen may be more prone to daytime periods of sleep that occur with little warning. Someone with narcolepsy can be in the middle of having a conversation when such an episode takes place. Muscles may also sudden suddenly go slack while expressing certain emotions such as anger or laughter. Parents should be aware of any other possible causes for this condition, such as depression or certain prescribed medications.
Consequences of inadequate sleep
As a result, teens will often have difficulties with important abilities such as learning, focusing and resolving conflicts. It has also been shown that acne is more likely to appear with insufficient sleep. A teen may be more prone to aggressive behavior as a result or be more likely to eat an unhealthy diet or use substances such as nicotine or caffeine. Additionally, a lack of sleep can seriously affect a teen’s mental health, causing issues such as depression or anxiety.
One means of ensuring better sleep is to encourage a teen to have a regular sleep schedule. This means that weekly bedtimes should be kept within a couple hours of each other. It may also be helpful to take a nap after school if the teen feels it is necessary. It’s important to note, naps should be under 30 minutes, one hour or 90 minutes. Thirty minutes is roughly the time it takes for your body to drop into deeper stages of sleep, so staying within this amount of time will help avoid grogginess. An hour’s nap can work well, especially for memory, some studies show. Long naps of 90 minutes are good for those with insomnia, as that is the length of a complete sleep cycle.
In addition, it will be helpful to avoid caffeine, especially in the evening when it is closer to bedtime. Electronics should be used less during these hours as well and certain activities, such as a hot bath, may prove to be therapeutic. Also be sure to keep lighting low at night and to keep a bed comfortable for sleeping. In doing so, parents can help to ensure that their teen remains healthy, happy and able to meet their daily responsibilities.
White River Academy is an accredited educational and therapeutic, structured and boarding-school for boys for personal development and treatment for mental health and substance abuse. Positive peer culture and varied treatment modalities make our facility pivotal in guiding teenage boys into healthy maturity. For enrollment details you can reach a member of our team at 866-300-0616.
Written by Ryan McMaster, Sovereign Health Group Writer