Sleep and Teens

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afternoon because they are not sleeping enough at night. Long afternoon naps are problematic because they occur during time when adolescents should be engaging in social, academic and extracurricular activities. Long naps also rob an individual of his or her ability to fall asleep at night. So, if your daughter is having difficulty falling asleep at night, she should cut out her afternoon nap. A power or cat nap of 15–20 minutes is fine.

How can I get my kids to go to sleep at a normal hour?

A regular bedtime routine , a regular sleep schedule, and clear and consistent limit setting are the key factors that help a child fall asleep at night. Most children up to age 6 should be able to fall asleep between 7 pm and 8:30 pm. Six-to eleven-year-olds may fall asleep between 7:30 pm and 9 pm, and teenagers should be able to fall asleep between 9 pm and 10:30 pm. Anxious and depressed children sometimes need special support to fall asleep at night, and teenagers have a biological propensity to fall asleep later and wake up later. There are also several sleep disorders that may interfere with a child's ability to fall asleep at a normal hour.

I set my child's bedtime for 11 pm but he just isn't tired. What should I do? What should I allow him to do until he gets sleepy?

Unless it is a vacation or weekend, 11 pm is a very late bedtime for any child. Begin by averaging how long your child sleeps during the night throughout a whole week and then figure out how much he or she sleeps during the day. Begin by eliminating or shortening daytime naps to 20 minutes. Cut out all caffeinated beverages and drinks. Only allow the child to engage in quiet, relaxing activities during the 1 to 2 hours leading up to bedtime. During this 1 to 2 hour period, there should be no television, video games or internet access. Reading, board games, writing, drawing and art projects are all good activities that require some mental effort, but