Sleep Deprivation and Parenting A Tired Teenager | Frances Robbins | Episode 35
Sleep deprivation and parenting a teenager are not something we generally think of, but it can impact our lives in dramatic ways. Our teens are often tired. The typical teen lifestyle is one that sets them up to be tired. And parents can land there themselves; too much to do or waiting up for our teen can lead us to skip sleep. Then there is the anxiety that can come from parenting, which is heightened when we are sleep deprived. Mighty Parenting podcast hosts, Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler, chat with Frances Robbins about sleep deprivation and parenting a tired teenager. They look at sleep issues in teens as well as parents and discuss options for managing the situation.
A Favorite Quote from the Show:
It might not directly be your teen or young adult that is not letting you sleep. It could be the anxiety of parenting.
High Points of the Discussion About Sleep Deprivation and Tired Teenagers:
Sleep and anxiety are like a dog chasing its tail; insomnia causes anxiety which creates insomnia which creates anxiety, and round and round it goes.
When one parent works shift hours, it can affect the whole family.
Once sleep improves there is a ripple effect; anxiety and depression can disappear, relationships improve, and other things just fall into place.
Sleep is a necessary component of life. When people are kept awake continuously, there is a complete breakdown of mental and physical capabilities. When we sleep, that’s when kids grow and our bodies rest and repair themselves.
Studies show that generally people do best with around 8 hours of sleep. When we fragment that, we don’t go through the healthy sleep cycles that let us rest and repair.
Teens need additional sleep when they go through a growth spurt.
Blue light from electronic products mimic daylight and it tricks our bodies into thinking it’s day time and we should be awake. High caffeine products add to that wakefulness.
Teens are looking for the rationale for things, so we need to help them understand why they can’t sleep.
If it’s a battle for your teen to get up in the morning, the first thing you need to do is determine if this is a problem for your teen. If they don’t see it as a problem, you aren’t going to get buy in from them to do anything.
Our frontal lobe develops through the teen years. This is where reasoning and executive functioning skills reside. As this grows, we start to understand consequences to our actions. In boys this happens in the early twenties, 22-24. In girls it’s around 19-21. Letting our kids see and experience consequences early on helps in this development and gives us the ability to problem solve.
Create good sleep hygiene, the way you live your days, simple things that help you sleep better at night.
If you’re experiencing sleep issues or anxiety to the point that it is affecting your life, check for underlying medical condition that could be affecting you.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. The sugar in alcohol metabolizes about 4 hours later and you’ll be awake on a little sugar high.
What does it look like when sleep is impacting our life? You miss work. You can’t stay at work very long. You are fighting with people because you’re angry. You have trouble driving or getting through daily tasks. You don’t want to leave the house, to go anywhere.
Frances is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and after serving 10 years in the USAF, she is now helping Anxious Moms Overcome Anxiety and Depression. She is the owner of Precision Mental Performance, an online therapy service.
Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler are entrepreneurs who help people live better lives. After creating DASIUM they realized they could help parents avoid the challenges and pain they experienced. Mighty Parenting is what families need to get real, relevant information about raising teens and parenting young adults in today's world.
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