Emsellem, Dr. Helene A., M.D., Whiteley, Carol. "Part IV Family and Community Support -- 12 Supporting Your Teen." 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
few minutes and end up involved in a two-hour movie. TV watching from bed can be great if you do it for just a short time, mainly to relax. But you might relax even more by following a quiet wind-down routine (see below). If you do want to watch TV before bed and your kids complain that they should be able to as well, let them know that, although you watch a bit, you’re already organized for the next day and always able to get to work on time.
Wind Down Before Bed
As it is for your teen, it’s a great idea to spend the last hour or so before bed disconnecting from the stresses of the day and getting relaxed before going to sleep. If you watch TV, keep the sound low and look for something nonviolent. Better yet, listen to music, read, or do some light stretching (see a suggested routine on page 170) or yoga. A household wind-down time will help everyone sleep better—and get along better too.
Keep Caffeine and Alcohol to a Minimum
If you want your teen to limit caffeine and avoid alcohol, it will help enormously for you to do likewise. If you get enough sleep, you won’t need that second—or third—cup of a.m. coffee to come alive. And you definitely should avoid both coffee and tea at dinner and in the evening—they’ll only keep you awake. I also suggest limiting nighttime alcohol to a glass of wine with dinner. Alcohol can interrupt your sleep, especially in the early morning between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. It can also rev up emotions when you’re trying to calm them down.
Don’t Work in Your Bedroom
Does it drive you crazy to walk into your teen’s room and see the bed covered with books, papers, clothes, and sports equipment? Do you wonder how your teen can relax and sleep with all that stuff everywhere?
The same might be asked about you. While many adults like to get into bed to work on their laptops or pay bills, it turns the bedroom into a work and activity area instead of a place for relaxation and sleep. You can set a good example by doing your work at your desk or on the