Insomnia in Teenagers

Definition: Insomnia is simply a sleeping disorder which is defined as the inability to sleep and to stay asleep in the presence of any external obstructions like bright light, noises during the night when one is expected to have a normal sleep. Like the adults, teenagers also face the problem of insomnia.

Insomnia in Teenagers SymptomsSymptom of teenage insomnia: A frequent complain of headache by a teenager effected by insomnia is most common symptom if it. Other visible symptoms are that they become irritable and moody and suffer from mood swings. Lack of concentration and decrease in overall performance is also noticed in teenagers affected with insomnia.

Causes of teenage insomnia: There are broadly two types of causes due to which teenage insomnia can occur. The first cause of teenage insomnia is hormonal imbalances/ changes occurring in the life of the teenagers. In teenagers, there is a tendency of increased activity of pituitary and hypothalamus glands which lie close to the biological clock and due to this, their biological clock also changes. And all these activities results in change in sleep/wake cycle of teenager and due to this reason they wish to retire to the bed late and then naturally also wake up very late.

The second cause of teenage insomnia is emotional linked problems and adoption of poor eating habits which are briefly listed below.

  • College /Exam related stress and adjustment problems with others are some of the most common problems which every teenager has to face in his life. Depending upon the individual’s nature, some may cop up very well with these stresses but others may not and those who cannot cop up get affected with insomnia.
  • Insomnia in Teenagers ProblemsThe other reason of emotional stress is peer pressure resulting from classmates, family members and relatives which every teenager has to face. Some of teenagers are not able to bear this stress and they get affected with insomnia.
  • Teenagers, who develop the habit of taking increased tea /coffee, colas, chocolates, unknowingly get used to have high dose of caffeine in their blood which interferes with their sleep many hours after consumption. Similarly those teenagers who start consuming cigarettes, which means that they are taking nicotine which is a strong stimulant, may also become victims of insomnia.
  • There are some medicines including those for asthma and weight loss which are known to have stimulant effects. Thus some teenagers, who have to use these medicines due to their illness, may get affected with insomnia.
  • If any teenager, prefers to study late or watch television during late hours by any reason, changes his normal sleeping routine then the problem of insomnia can occur to him.

Treatment of teenager insomnia: The insomnia problem is more of an emotions or life style related problem and hence can be overcome if one follows the following simple rules to adjust his nature and life style which will help him to get rid of this problem.

  • Make a daily habit of going to bed at the same time.
  • Let the teenager eat his dinner at least three hours before his sleep time and if he feels hungry again before sleep, then he should take some supper.
  • When he is going to sleep, check whether all lights are off in his bed room and that his bed room is sufficiently dark. Also make sure that in day time there is sufficiently light in his bed room. This will train his mind to expect him to sleep when it is dark.
  • Keep his room at comfortable temperature and humidity.
  • Do not let him nap in the day time. Get him busy with the work of his interest when he is feeling sleepy.
  • If the teenager is taking too much of caffeine through tea/coffee, cola and chocolates then help him to cut down consumption of these intakes. Also if he is on cigarettes then advise him and help him to get rid of this habit.
  • Teenager should make a habit of daily and regular exercising.
  • They should also make a habit of relaxing before going to bed. This can be done by listening to music or taking a warm bath before going to bed. Also, avoid playing competitive games or watching exciting TV programs or similar things.

If the affected teenager needs to take medicine then he should go for natural sleep remedies. In short, one needs to adopt a positive aptitude in life to avoid such problems in his/her life and to stay healthy.

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