Sleep routines: Not just for babies

When your child was little, you probably had him on a predictable sleep schedule. Naps and bedtime came at the same time every day, and there were few outside distractions to keep you and your child from sticking to the routine.

But as kids become teenagers, more and more demands for their time and attention build up, causing sleep to take a backseat to other more interesting things like taking part in after-school activities, playing video games, watching television, hanging out with friends, and (hopefully) completing homework.

While a teenager should have more of a say in his sleep schedule than a younger child, it’s important for parents to continue providing guidance for their kids regarding healthy sleep habits.

Luckily, it’s not so hard to figure out what’s keeping a teenager from sleeping; the same factors that keep an adult from getting restful sleep will have the same affect on a teen.

If your teenager is frequently complaining of being tired (or if you notice their mood is more sour than normal), help and encourage him to track his sleep habits. Something as simple as a spiral notebook where he can track his eating habits, sleeping and waking times, and moods is a great place to start.

After a few weeks, take a look at what your teenager has recorded. If you see behavior that could be adversely affecting his sleep (too much caffeine, inconsistent bedtimes, etc.) work together to devise a plan that will get your teenager back on track towards the best night sleep possible.

Another simple way to help your teen get better rest is to have him find out his Zzzz score. Go here to learn more.