Disturbed Sleep

Many adolescents face disturbance in their sleeping routine due to lifestyle stress, hectic academic schedules, or other related factors. Sleep disturbances can affect one's mood, energy level, efficiency and also the ability to handle stress. It is important to rule out the contribution of physical factors causing any disturbances in sleep, before attributing such disturbances onto psychological factors.   
Some of the facts related to sleep:
  1. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
  2. An average adolescent's/teenager's sleep can range between 9-11 hours daily. 
  3. Loss of even one hour of sleep can affect one's ability to think adequately and respond quickly.
  4. Biological clock takes time to be reset, by appropriately timed cues, and by one or two hours per day at best. 
  5. Quality of sleep is as important as the quantity of sleep.
Some signs that indicate the presence of sleep deprivation may include a difficulty to wake up in the morning, feeling sluggish during the day,  drowsiness during classes, lectures or post-lunch, falling asleep while watching TV or while relaxing in the evening time, falling asleep within a few minutes of going to bed. 
The quality of sleep can be optimized in the following ways:
  1. Maintain a regular time to sleep and wake up.
  2. Sleep in complete darkness.
  3. Avoid drinking any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.
  4. Avoid heavy meals at night.
  5. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed.
  6. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars.
  7. Avoid using loud alarm clocks.
  8. Refrain from drinking high energy or stimulating drinks post 5 pm, e.g., coffee.
  9. Take a hot bath or shower before bed.
  10. Keep work away at least two hour before bed. 
  11. Read something light or listen to soothing music before going to bed.
  12. Practice Yoga and Meditation to relax the mind and the body.

"Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together" - Thomas Dekker