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Summer sleep schedules can disrupt teens’ mental health

Summer can be a good time for youths to loosen up and decompress after a busy educational yr, however slack summer time routines can end in a lack of sleep, and that can value youngsters.

Summer can be a good time for youths to loosen up and decompress after a busy educational yr, however a physician who specializes within the connection between sleep and mental health says sleep schedules shouldn’t fluctuate too vastly.

Slack summer time routines can end in a lack of sleep, and that can value youngsters.

“When teens — or really when anyone — doesn’t get enough sleep, they’re at higher risk for experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions,” stated Dr. Tyish Hall Brown, a licensed medical psychologist and director of behavioral sleep drugs at Children’s National Hospital.

Dr. Tyish Hall Brown is a licensed medical psychologist who focuses on serving to teenagers to be their finest selves. (Courtesy Children’s National Hospital)

Those circumstances can embody something from anxiousness to despair and ADHD, she stated, “and really, it’s about having difficulty regulating emotions, loss of attention, having difficulty making decisions. Things of that nature tend to be connected with sleep loss, and persistent (i.e., between two weeks and a month) sleep loss in particular.”

Hall Brown recommends that teenagers attempt to keep a schedule, even a free one, in order that they can be their finest selves and performance optimally.

That contains not taking naps even when summer time schedules enable time for them.

“When we think of teens and we think about them waking up late in the afternoon, it’s not just that they’re lazy or that they’re oversleeping; it’s more that their bodies are telling them, ‘Hey, we need to get more sleep,’ and their clock has kind of shifted so that they’re going to bed later and waking up later,” Hall Brown stated.

Teenagers want eight to 10 hours of sleep an evening.

A superb night time’s relaxation is a 24-hour course of; tips for that embody:

  • Avoid napping.
  • Eat effectively.
  • No caffeine after midday or 1 p.m.
  • Exercise all through the day.
  • Get exterior and get some solar to stimulate vitamin D.
  • Develop a routine that can embody showering, studying or listening to music.
  • Create a welcoming bed room setting.
  • Reduce stress.

Parents can assist ease youngsters’s stress by checking in to see whether or not something’s bothering them.

“Being specific with the question can help them navigate the conversation a little bit better,” Hall Brown stated. “You want to leave it open-ended, so it’s not just a yes-or-no type of response. But you do want to kind of narrow it down so that they have an easier time connecting with what you’re asking them.”

“So I may ask my teen: ‘How did it go at camp today? Was there anything in particular that you really liked? Was there anything in particular that was stressful for you today?’ And … then you can ask more questions to hone in, depending upon their response.”

Hall Brown emphasised that everybody ought to prioritize sleep.

“Sleep has a great impact on our overall well-being and can reduce some of the negative feelings that our teens might be experiencing throughout the day,” she stated.

July 6, 2022 | How mother and father can assist ease youngsters’s stress to foster higher relaxation (Dr. Tyish Hall Brown with WTOP’s Kristi King)

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