A steady sleep rhythm helps adolescents

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Teenagers should adhere to certain rules for healthy sleep

Many adolescents suffer from lack of sleep. Chatting at night or internet games are often responsible for this. During the week, the young people usually sleep too little, while they sleep too long at the weekend. As a result, sleep is generally less restful. If minors sleep poorly three days a week within a period of at least one month, experts speak of sleep disorders.

What young people should consider for a healthy sleep The Foundation for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IGWiG) in Cologne points out that, above all, a regular rhythm is crucial for a healthy sleep. Chatting at night or watching late TV, on the other hand, prevented restful sleep. If teenagers sleep too little during the week, they usually try to compensate for their tiredness by sleeping long in the weekend. According to the IGWiG, however, this does not work. Rather, an irregular sleep rhythm develops.

Therefore, it makes sense to go to sleep at the same time in the evening - not too late - and to get up in the morning. In addition, the foundation advises “to stop talking on the phone for a while before going to bed, to stop listening to loud music and to play on the computer or cell phone, and to stop drinking stimulating drinks in the evening, for example cola, energy drinks, coffee, black or green tea not to smoke before going to bed, as the nicotine in cigarettes can have a stimulating effect ”and“ to stop exercising shortly before going to bed ”. The environment can also influence sleep behavior. According to IGWiG, the bedroom should be "quiet and dark". In addition, it makes sense not to use the bed as a place to watch television, play computer games, read or eat.

Healthy sleep through relaxation exercises If adolescents are still unable to sleep, they should get up and only go back to bed when they are tired. If that doesn't help against sleep disorders, the foundation recommends relaxation exercises such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation. Autogenic training is "a kind of self-hypnosis" in which the body is put into various states such as warmth or heaviness. At the end of the exercises, the body is relaxed. With progressive muscle relaxation, certain muscle groups would be tensed and relaxed one after the other, which would also put the body into a state of relaxation.

Behavioral therapy can also be useful, because there are often psychological problems and concerns behind the sleep disorders. With the help of a therapist, the adolescents learn to find their natural sleeping rhythm again through specific tasks and exercises.

In general, sleeping pills should only be taken in exceptional cases in consultation with a doctor. Most remedies can lead to dependencies in a short period of time. In addition, many medications have undesirable side effects. This includes, for example, daytime tiredness. (ag)

Image: CFalk / pixelio.de

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