Your tween stays up all night—then wants to sleep all day. But late-night texting and computer time can set kids up for a serious lack of sleep, potentially leading to anxiety, depression, and difficulty learning, reports research from JFK Medical Center.
Tween and teen brains become temporarily wired to stay up later at night and sleep later in the morning than child or adult brains. And while you can’t fight biology, you can certainly influence it, says Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., an adolescent sleep researcher at the Sleep Research Lab at Brown Medical School. Electronics should come out of your tween’s room 30 minutes before light’s out to signal the brain’s clock that it’s time to sleep. If your tween’s still short on sleep, it’s okay to let her get some extra winks on weekends—by napping. Getting up at the same time she does during the week (and nabbing extra sleep by napping later) helps reinforce the sleep-wake message you’re trying to get across during the week. Naps won’t erase the effects of long-term sleep deprivation, but they can temporarily refresh the mind and body, says Carskadon.
Reprinted from KIWI Magazine