How to sleep train your screenager
Inspired by Teen health fundi, Dr Habib, we thought we would take the focus off the screen and put it on some shut eye. Sleep hygiene for teens has nothing to do with making sure they are washing their pits and privates (that struggle for another day).
No prizes for knowing that teens sleep cycle starts to shift dramatically when they hit the hard hormones. Finding your child in the kitchen at 11pm complaining that there is nothing to eat, is more of a norm than an absurdity. So how do we get them to get in the required 8 hours without doing battle?
- Focus on wake-up time not bed time. Same time, every time. Try get them to throw in some exercise first thing. (Hard, we know)!
- No power naps after 3pm.
- Encourage them to keep the room cool – that means opening the occasional window, clearing the clutter, letting go of piles of blankets.
- Get a real alarm clock – no excuses for a device next to the bed. It’s just too tempting.
- Catch up sleep on the weekendis also normal, but a full day lie in’s just make for misery.
Remember, its natural for teens to shift their circadian rhythm to that of a night owl.
Stop the fight, encourage self-regulation. Be the supportive assisting parent, not the angry judgmental parent. As the saying more flies are caught with honey than vinegar, so in this case, bringing your child a yummy warm drink at 10pm may just open the door to a five-minute connecting chat on the bed. Who knows, maybe you will enjoy the quiet of the night together!
Sarah and Pam xx