Insomnia in adolescents: causes and treatment
Adolescence - the transition from childhood to adulthood - has some features of the growth and functioning of the young body, which are often accompanied by health problems. Insomnia in adolescents is one of those problems that affects not only his physical condition, but also his academic performance in school, his relationships with his parents and friends.
Causes of insomnia
According to medical studies, the sleep rate for a child of 14-15 years is 8.5-9 hours, which means that he must go to bed at 22.00 in the evening, if you need to get up to school at 7.00 am. However, many children at this age begin to have problems with the process of falling asleep. Insomnia in adolescence is a common occurrence( about 12.5% of children 14 years of age) and often happens not because of their reluctance to sleep, but because the child's brain is not ready for sleep.
The most common reason for this is the delay in producing the hormone melatonin, which occurs at this age later than in adults. As a result, the child's brain can not tune in to the process of falling asleep, and the experiences and thoughts about it also do not contribute to the solution of the problem.
Causes of insomnia in adolescents:
- Physiological changes( hormonal changes) in the body of a child at this age.
- Emotional stress( stresses, depressive states, experiences), when children at this age are worried for some reason, seemingly trivial adults.
- An irregularly disturbed or disturbed mode of the day, especially during the vacation period, when the child tries to go to bed later, explaining this by saying that "he will sleep off tomorrow" and then sleeps for a long time in the morning and in the afternoon, making efforts to "make up for lost time" sleep or sleepforward( which is absolutely impossible on the basis of research conducted by scientists) - the usual schedule of the day and, accordingly, the dream is knocked down.
- Large loads( mental and emotional), which is often associated with school requirements.
- Weak physical load, because at this age, movement, sports, active games are extremely necessary for normal development.
- Harmful habits that occur with a large free time of the child, when he can get carried away by smoking, consumption of low-alcohol drinks, drugs( this includes coffee and various energy drinks).
- Incorrectly organized sleep preparation( no ritual of falling asleep, uncomfortable situation in the room or uncomfortable bed).
- The most common reason now is online communication and the influence of the Internet.
How insomnia is manifested
Parents who have a child at the age of 14-15 should be watched with increased attention for his health and quality of sleep. The reason for concern may be, first of all, reducing the time of night sleep, when a child sleeps less than 8 hours.
It is also necessary to observe the period when the process of falling asleep occurs. For a healthy person, this time is usually up to 15 minutes, and if a teenager "hurts" and can not fall asleep for a long time( up to 2 hours) because of untimely thoughts, memories, music or the inconvenience of a bed, this should make the parents think aboutreasons for this.
Quite often insomnia in adolescents manifests itself in night awakenings associated with various troubles( terrible sleep, noise, etc.).A healthy child usually immediately falls asleep, and one who suffers from sleep problems can spend some time on it.
A clear sign of lack of sleep is the complicated process of lifting the baby's morning from bed. After a night's sleep problems, the teenager feels a sense of weakness and discomfort. If this sensation does not pass for the next half an hour, then it is a symptom of insomnia.
Symptoms of lack of sleep a child
Insomnia in a teenager of 14 years is reflected, primarily on his physical and mental condition. The consequences of poor sleep and night insomnia at this age are external signs and changes in the behavior and nature of the child:
- irritated and even aggressive condition in the morning and afternoon;
- frequent vagaries over trifles;
- in school time there are signs of poor concentration of attention,
- memory impairment when doing homework and studying;
- decline in school performance;
- chronic fatigue;
- decreased appetite or, conversely, the desire to eat more than usual.
Insomnia in adolescents: treatment of
Parents in this situation are concerned about insomnia in a teenager. What to do, they ask. According to medical reports, insomnia is not a disease of man, but only one of the symptoms of an outstanding health problem. Therefore, the first step to solve such a problem is to clarify and clarify the causes of sleep disorders.
Then parents should help their child cope with such a problem. After all, the main thing is to break the vicious circle, when depression and other problems cause a violation of falling asleep in a child, and then insomnia itself is the cause of the subsequent physical and psychological disorders of adolescent health.
Sleep Disorders Activities
Insomnia in adolescents, if of short duration, can be remedied by specific measures that parents should take regardless of the causes of insomnia:
- The ban on late supper, especially with the reception of spicy, smoked and fatty foods, chocolate and sweets, strong coffee and tea. If the child wants to have dinner before going to bed, then it will be optimal to offer him any dairy products.
- Inspect the child's bed and bedroom for replacement of uncomfortable bedding or the bed itself. It is recommended to remove irritant factors that can prevent sleep.
- Reduce in the evening time communication with the phone, TV and computer, turn off all the equipment an hour before bedtime.
- If a child sleeps in a common room, it is important to fence off the child's area, for example, using a screen.
Prevention of insomnia
Parents often can not agree with their growing child on some vital issues. However, only this can help to overcome the problem of insomnia. To find a common language with him is extremely necessary in order to solve this problem together in such ways:
- agree that the child goes to bed constantly at the same time, then he will have the right reflex;
- to give up daytime sleep( if it was earlier), make sure that the child does not fall asleep after 17.00;
- prohibit the use of a computer and watch television in the evening, especially movies and games with elements of fights and horrors;
- explain that you need to stop consuming stimulant drinks in the afternoon, in the evening it is better to drink herbal tea( better soothing - mint, lemon balm and other herbs);
- after going to bed to ensure the darkness in the teen's room, this will help speed up the development of melatonin.
Treatment of chronic insomnia
When insomnia in adolescents does not last long, despite the fact that all measures for its elimination by parents and the child have already been taken, it makes sense to talk about the chronic form of the disease, then it is possible to use treatment with medicinal herbs or medicines.
The means for insomnia for adolescents should be prescribed by a doctor who will help determine the cause of poor sleep and recommend ways of solving such a problem. Most experts recommend the following drugs:
- Melatonin( a sleep hormone) can be used for treatment only for a short time and only after the onset of puberty teenager.
- Various teas based on herbal preparations: chamomile, mint, from passionflower. This tea should be drunk for half an hour before falling asleep.
- Valerian is considered the most common plant for the elimination of sleep disorders, but there is a risk( especially in adolescence) of obtaining the opposite effect, when the root of valerian can cause increased anxiety.
When you need a doctor's consultation
If all the activities to improve the process of falling asleep and improving the quality of night sleep in the child do not help, you may need to consult a doctor. The cause of insomnia may be diseases of the nervous system or psychological problems in the child.
Therefore, in the case of emotional disorders, it is best to pass an interview with a psychologist. Such a specialist of high qualification can help a child cope with his negative emotions and solve "teenage problems".
A specialist psychologist will teach a teenager to control his emotions, prevent the negative impact of emotional stress( quarrels in family and friends, trouble in school, etc.), and also recommend parents to improve their family relationships, not to admit obvious relationships in the presence of a teenager, thatis also a frequent cause of psychological problems.
A good emotional balance in such a situation should stabilize a teenager's mental state.
Having considered all aspects of the solution of such a common problem as insomnia in adolescents, the reasons for the treatment of short-term and chronic forms of the disease, it can be concluded that only together with the teenager parents can help the child get rid of insomnia.