Pointers for Parents

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Support sleep-smart policies and request that sleep curricula be included. Encourage your school district to enact policies that will benefit the sleep health of all students, such as later school start times for adolescents.

Understand that the consequences of sleep deprivation include increased chance of fall asleep car crashes, poor health, poor grades, depression, substance abuse, aggressive conduct, and behavior problems.

Create a sleep-friendly room for your teen that is cool, quiet and dark. Lights should be dim close to bedtime to signal the brain when it is time to sleep, and bright light used in the morning to signal the brain when it is time to wake up.

Restrict the use of sleep disturbing products including pills and caffeine. Consuming caffeine late in the day can disturb sleep many hours later.

Organize active family activities. Exercise can improve sleep, but make sure it is not too close to bedtime.