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There is no doubt that there are many changes on the physical, hormonal and mental levels between the ages of 13 and 16. And although it is believed that this is part of the typical “rebellions” of the time, it is true that insomnia among young people has more to do with organic matters. More on this below.
The sleep cycle in adolescents
Before you talk about adolescent sleep disorders, you need to know a little about your sleep cycle. In theory, they should sleep eight hours in a row every night, but do not follow this recommendation. And it’s not with bad intentions!
The biological clock and circadian rhythms (responsible for sleep and alertness) at this stage are revolutionized like hormones. Therefore, they can stay awake all night or sleep for a whole weekend.
The daily commitments such as school, club or English courses add to the fact that they cannot sleep everything they need and that they soon appear to zombies all day long as hikers. It is impossible to stand out in class, play sports or study at home.
Causes of Insomnia in Adolescents
It is not known for certain why adolescents do not sleep as they should, but we can assure that there are certain factors that can make them more susceptible to insomnia. First of all, we have genetics. If parents have difficulty falling asleep, the child is likely to suffer as well. This is not always the case, but you need to take this into account.
It is also common for stress, poor diet, family pressure, or even a minor schedule organization to cause the young person to suffer from insomnia. That is why it is said that it is important to observe the rest periods from an early age.
Third, both physical and emotional hyperactivation are included. This excitement or acceleration is often caused by the use of video games, by watching action films or by watching the mobile screen for hours (with videos, social networks, games, series, etc.).
There are also other causes of sleep disorders in adolescents, such as some health problems such as asthma, headache, rhinitis, allergies; Fear of an exam, a trip, a move …; Depression from bad grades, impossible love, problems with friends; or taking stimulants before bed, such as coffee or soft drinks.
Believe it or not, adolescent sleep disorders can also be caused by the ambient temperature. If the room is not well acclimatized, there is too much light or noise to prevent sleeping, or even when you exercise after sunset, as this will reactivate the organism.
Symptoms of sleeplessness in adolescents
A little sleep is not always synonymous with insomnia. This is the first thing you should know and don’t have to worry if your child stays up late or Saturday doesn’t get up until noon. You need to be more careful if this becomes a habit.
As parents, we should be aware of certain changes in their behavior and body. Furthermore, it seems that we have a different son every day. Some signs that can cause sleep disorders in adolescents are:
It’s not that he wants to sleep, he seems listless 24 hours a day, even after a long nap or after many hours on the weekend. Maybe you talk to him and sleep at the table or while watching a movie.
2. Focus problems
For some people, sleep disorders cause them to be constantly vigilant. However, this does not mean that they can pay attention to what is happening around them. Adolescents who do not sleep well often have difficulty concentrating at school or performing tasks and assignments.
We know that puberty is a period when mood swings are the order of the day, but if we contribute to this insomnia, it becomes a struggle every time we speak to them or ask them to do something.
How can you help a teenager with insomnia? Avoid using electronic devices two hours before bedtime, offer a light dinner, make sure the room is at the right temperature, with no lights and noises, and take a nap after lunch. If the problem persists, consult a doctor.