Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



July 2010

Teen Insomnia, Sleeping Problems

by Staff, on at risk blog, at risk youth, narcolepsy, sleep deprivation, sleep disorder, sleep problems, teen insomnia

You probably noticed that your kid isn’t getting enough sleep, in most cases that is normal, your kid is just overloaded or likes to stay up at night. In some cases that may be because of a sleep disorder. Although it may sound normal or worrying, it is in fact a bad thing for teens, especially if it happens over a longer period of time. If the sleepless nights continue your child may develop a sleep deficit, that is when you want to sleep but can't, the body has set its own schedule because of it is used not to sleep. But that can have harmful effects, like depression, lack of concentration and many other things.

In most cases this happens because when kids get to the teen years the melatonin hormone is produced late at night, unlike with kids and adults, and that makes it harder for teens to fall asleep at night. In some cases it is insomnia, trouble falling asleep at all. Many things lead to teen insomnia, in most cases stress is the cause, but everything from emotional issues, uncomfortable space, headache or any other physical discomfort may be the reason behind insomnia.

Having insomnia for a few days or a week is nothing to be concerned about, it happens to everything from one or more reasons stated above. But, if insomnia consists over a few weeks or more that is considered as chronic insomnia and must be treated.

Another thing that stops and prevents teens and everyone else from sleeping are nightmares. Yes, nightmares over a longer period of time are considered dangerous. In most cases nightmares are caused by stress, alcohol, medication, even sleep deprivation, so having nightmares on a regular basis means you are doing something wrong and need to revise that.

And we also have the famous narcolepsy, sometimes narcolepsy is caused simply by the fact that teens are not sleeping at night. Over exhausting themselves can lead to narcolepsy, but like with insomnia that lasts for a few days or a week until the body rests. But there are cases when people suffer from chronic narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is very dangerous as it can’t be controlled, so things like driving are out of the question, as a person may fall asleep without any warning.

If your child is having any of the symptoms that point to a sleep disorder over a longer period of time you should immediately take him to the doctor. Sleep deprivation can have many of unwanted side effects on the brain, growth, healing, attention, and learning, even weigh gain and weight loss and severe medical conditions such as diabetes. So getting your child to a doctor before it comes to some of these consequences is a must, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can be very serious and are not to be underestimated. Staff