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Tips for ensuring a restful night

If you have a teen who is not sleeping or getting a restful sleep the British National Health Service recommends you do the following:

Ÿ Talk to your child daily and include anything they are worried about. This will help them put their problems into perspective.

Ÿ Encourage them to exercise daily for at least an hour and to take part in a variety of activities.

Ÿ Suggest they drink less caffeine. Even if your child doesn’t drink tea and coffee, caffeine is a main ingredient of many sodas so your child could be getting much more than you realise. And caffeine is stimulant so it will interfere with falling asleep and also with the ability to sleep deeply.

Ÿ Let them know that eating too much or too little close to bedtime can interfere with their ability to sleep. If the stomach is full or empty this can cause discomfort and hamper sleep.

Ÿ Encourage your teenager to have a bedtime routine. Doing the same thing in the same order before going to sleep sets a brain pattern of behaviour, which can actually help them fall asleep.

Ÿ Ensure they are in an environment conducive to sleep. Ideally they should be in a room that is dark, cool, quiet, safe and comfortable.

Ÿ Don’t have TV in the bedroom and don’t allow them to use their laptops, iPods and iPads when lying in bed to sleep. A music system is preferable as the light from TV and computer screens are the main problem.

Ÿ Ensure they have a comfortable mattress. If a new one is needed, include them in the choice process.

Ÿ Emphasise the importance of sleep. It has proven advantages for memory and performance.

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Published September 13, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 13, 2011 at 9:38 am)

Tips for ensuring a restful night

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