Help! My Teen Has Insomnia

Dec 11, 2023
Help! My Teen Has Insomnia
Everyone in your family deserves a good night’s sleep. Are you searching for ways to help your teen sleep better? Explore expert tips to treat teenage insomnia in our latest blog.

 Are you grappling with the stress of a restless teenager who just can’t seem to fall asleep? You aren’t alone. Adolescent insomnia is a common issue, and it can be the source of worry for both teens and parents. 

At Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group, our compassionate team of professionals understands how hard it can be for your loved one to cope with difficulty falling asleep. Luckily, we have the tools to diagnose and treat insomnia before it leads to an underlying health problem. 

In the meantime, we’ll also help you explore the reasons behind teen insomnia and provide you with effective strategies to help your teenager get the restful sleep they deserve. 

Understanding teenage insomnia 

Teenagers are often navigating a world filled with academic pressures, social dilemmas, and rapidly changing bodies. This can result in a perfect storm of factors contributing to their insomnia. Here’s what might be keeping your teen awake at night: 

Academic stress

Homework, exams, and looming deadlines can create anxiety and stress, making it hard for teens to unwind. 

Digital devices

The allure of screens — whether smartphones, tablets, or laptops — can keep teens engaged well into the night, disrupting their sleep patterns. 

Social life

Teens are at a stage where their social lives take center stage. Late-night chats and social media interactions can interfere with their sleep schedules. 

Hormonal changes

Puberty brings about shifts in sleep patterns, causing many teens to stay up later and struggle with early mornings. 

Caffeine intake 

The consumption of energy drinks, coffee, and soda can disrupt sleep, especially if consumed later in the day. 

Navigating the solutions for teen insomnia 

Now that we’ve uncovered some of the reasons behind teenage insomnia, it’s time to explore practical solutions to help your teen get a good night’s sleep: 

Establish a bedtime routine

Encourage your teen to wind down with relaxing activities before bedtime, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing deep breathing exercises. 

Limit screen time

Create a rule for electronic devices to be turned off an hour or so before bedtime. The blue light that screens emit may interfere with the production of melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. 

Promote a sleep-conducive environment 

Ensure their bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows can also make a big difference. 

Set a consistent sleep schedule

Help your teen to set a schedule to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, which regulates their body’s internal clock. 

Curb caffeine intake 

Advise your teen to limit caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoon and evening. Opt for caffeine-free beverages and snacks. 

Encourage physical activity 

Regular exercise can promote better sleep. Encourage your teen to engage in physical activities during the day, but not too close to bedtime. 

Consider cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT can help teens identify and address the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to insomnia, making it a valuable tool in managing sleep disturbances. 

When to seek professional help 

In some instances, professional assistance becomes crucial when dealing with teenage insomnia. Signs that could prompt a consultation with our team of experts include persistent insomnia despite attempts to address them at home, daytime fatigue that interferes with daily life, mood disturbances, and the presence of underlying medical or psychological issues contributing to insomnia. Our team can offer guidance, conduct assessments, and provide personalized treatment options to tackle your teenager’s insomnia effectively.

All in all, teenage insomnia is a common challenge that can affect your teen’s overall well-being and daily functioning. By understanding the root causes and implementing practical strategies, you can help them achieve better sleep and navigate this stage of their life with the vitality they need.

If you’re ready to learn more about insomnia, call our office at 571-748-4588, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.