Adolescent insomnia is a recent phenomenon. Even though we think of adolescence as the most enjoyable and often the best time of life, things have changed considerably over the past few years. Adolescence has never been an easy stage and increased peer pressure and anxiety about success has made these years a time of extreme turmoil for teens and parents alike. These two stress factors are enough to cause depression and consequently insomnia in most cases.
Despite these factors, still the most common cause behind teenage insomnia is disturbance of the circadian rhythm, commonly known as the biological clock. Teenagers have a general disposition to have an active social life and stay up late in the night. They also have to get up early in the morning to go to school. They tend to make up for lost sleep on weekends and holidays. Yet they do not realize the harm that they are doing to their body systems by disturbing their circadian rhythm. They indirectly develop something like a ‘jet lag’ each weekend. This phenomenon is medically termed as a Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.
Exposure to bright sunlight for at least thirty minutes or normal sunlight for two hours has been found to be very effective in restoring the body clock to its original settings. Teenagers also need to be taught the importance of sleep and routine bedtime schedules.
Depression-based insomnia can usually be cured by treating depression. Medication for treating insomnia usually includes use of sleeping pills or sedatives. Treating depression naturally is a much better option for adolescents as sedatives are habit forming and can be a dangerous solution for teenagers. Natural remedies for depression offer much healthier treatment choices for teenagers as they are free from any side effects.
In certain cases, adolescent insomnia may have to be treated independently. Natural procedures involve psychotherapy, sleep education and lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy is used when sleep disorders in adolescents are caused by emotional problems. These emotional problems are caused when they have issues with accepting the changes in their body, environment or are unable to cope with the pressures that they suddenly find themselves in. Teenagers can be helped by explaining the basics of life and the challenges that may come their way. Learning ways to solve issues or accepting the way certain things are helps teenagers cope. Such acceptance and knowledge can have a positive effect on insomnia.
Teenagers have a long way to go in life. The most challenging parts of their lives are yet to come. They have to be fit to meet life’s challenges. Teenage lifestyles need to be in sync with the necessities of their goal in life. The general trend of using sedatives to induce sleep can lead them off the track of the road to success.