Teen Topics: Night Owl Syndrome

Learn natural strategies to help your teen resist her natural urge to stay up late and get enough sleep to function better in school and decrease mood swings.


So why is it that your teen refuses to go to bed earlier? Studies show that thanks to all those raging hormones, teenagers are on a different sleep cycle than children or adults. They naturally want to stay up late and sleep late.

While many schools across the country have listened to the science and adjusted the school day accordingly, most teens are left with alarm clocks going off before 7am on the weekday. So what is your sleep deprived teen and you, the frustrated parent, to do? Here are some tips to help your teen establish a healthy sleep routine:

Environment: Keep the bedroom dark, cool, quiet, and free of technology. Optimal temperature is between 60-68 degrees.  If outside noise is a problem, invest in a white noise machine, or use a fan or humidifier.

Late Night Snacks: Avoid sugar, high carb snacks, caffeine, which all raise blood sugar and wake up the body. Instead, if hungry, enjoy foods that are light, and contain a mixture of protein, carbs and the amino acid tryptophan. Good bedtime snacks include yogurt with a banana, or half of a turkey & cheese sandwich.

Ban Technology: Avoid all backlit devices for at least a half hour before bed. Computers, phones, tablets, even televisions overly stimulate the brain and make it difficult to unwind.  Don’t allow your teens to bring cell phones into the bedroom. It is just too tempting to check you twitter feed or e-mail just one more time!!!!

Establish Routine: Try relaxing before bed with a hot shower or bath - this also saves time in the morning getting ready for school!And most improtantly, go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends.

Lauren Leonard is an AADP certified holistic health and nutirtion coach, mom,  yoga instructor and the current run ambassador for Lululemon. Her newest program caters to teenagers helping manage stress and learn health lifestyle practices to take with them for life. If you know a teen that could benefit from learning more about mindful eating, improved sleep hygiene, and stress reduction Lauren Leonard about her new Teen Health Coaching Program at laurenleonardhealth@gmail and check out her website: Lauren Leonard Health

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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