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Common Sleep Disorders in Teens

Get Better Sleep continued...

If you have no physical problem, check out the following "E-ZZZ sleep tips" to guarantee more restful sleep:

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick with it, even on weekends.
  • Tone down loud music or flashing computer screens as you prepare for bed.
  • Eat less sugar, which can cause sudden rises in your blood sugar. This may then cause you to wake up in the middle of the night when your blood sugar drops low.
  • While regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, you should avoid exercise right before bedtime.
  • When you get up in the morning, get into bright light as soon as possible. Avoid bright light in the evening. Light signals to the brain when it should "wake up" and "go to sleep."
  • Reduce noise in your bedroom, Wear earplugs if you're bothered by noises while sleeping. Some people find that "white noise" -- from a fan, radio static, or a white noise machine -- can help.
  • Eat foods for a calming effect. Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that foods high in carbohydrates, like breads, cereal, or pasta, raise the level of serotonin in the brain (serotonin is a mood-elevating brain chemical). When serotonin levels rise, we feel a calming effect and sleep more soundly.
  • Take a warm bath before bedtime. Sleep usually follows the cooling phase of your body's temperature cycle. After your warm bath, keep the temperature in your bedroom cool to see if you can influence this phase.
  • If you're taking any medication, your sleep-wake cycle may be affected. If you use an inhaler or oral bronchodilator or take Ritalin or Adderall (used in treating ADD and ADHD), be aware that these medications sometimes cause insomnia.
  • Have peace of mind. Anxieties and worries can interfere with healthful sleep. Try relaxation therapies, such as meditation, prayer, or yoga before bedtime.

If you think you are having any of the medical problems discussed above, or if you are stressed or depressed and the simple suggestions above are not helping, see your primary health care provider. Good sleep is essential for health. If you are not getting it, seek help.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 17, 2013
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