Monday, October 11, 1999

Sleep tips for teens

        Teens may be able to adjust their circadian clocks through these gradual, consistent steps:

        1. Go to sleep and wake up 15 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired sleep and wake times. Try to get 81/2 to 91/4 hours of sleep, even on weekends. Avoid naps.

        2. While adapting to this schedule, avoid caffeine, alcohol and other substances that can affect sleep.

        3. Open blinds or turn on lights as soon as possible after waking. Avoid bright light in the evening.

        4. Relax before bed time. Avoid heavy reading, studying and computer games within one hour of going to bed.

        Beware weekends
        For the adolescent's circadian clock to stay on track, remain on schedule every day, especially during the first few weeks. Afterwards, sleeping in may be an option as long as the following guidelines are met:

        1. Do not go to sleep more than one hour later than normal on the weekend.

        2. Do not go off schedule for two or more nights in a row.

        3. Do not wake up more than two or three hours later than normal. Take a nap in the early afternoon if you are sleepy.

        Source: National Sleep Foundation

Wake-up call for sleepy teens
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- Sleep tips for teens
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