Emsellem, Dr. Helene A., M.D., Whiteley, Carol. "8 10 "No-War" Ways to Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits for Optimum Health, Learning, and Living." Snooze... or Lose!: 10 "No-War" Ways to Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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Snooze…Or Lose!: 10 “No-War” Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Sleep Habits
One Teen Says …
“My night-owl schedule used to be so bad that I would stay up late,wake up early for school, feel tired all day, then take a nap when I gothome. Because of the nap I couldn’t fall asleep at a decent hour at nightand kept repeating the same thing over and over. The cycle was veryhard to break.”
Encourage your teen to exercise after school or early in the evening. Being physically active too close to bedtime can result in revving you up instead of helping you wind down. However, a few minutes of easy stretching or yoga exercises right before bed can help promote relaxation and sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation reminds teens who find it hard to workan exercise routine into their daythat they can exercise while doingsomething else. For example, theycan walk on a treadmill while reading or listening to music or do situps and lift free weights whilewatching TV.
Strategy 10: Recognize and Stop EnablingPoor Sleep Habits
If your teen is falling off the sleepiness scale, a careful evaluation of her schedule will help make the need for sleep more clear. The following suggestions will then help to make more and better sleep a reality:
Have your teen keep a sleep log—a record of daily bed and wake-up times (see below for the one my patients use)—for a week or two, including at least two weekends. (Research shows that teens ideally need between eight and a half and nine and a half hours of sleep per night, and the log will show how greatly your teen is sleep