My name is Nino Yniguez, I’m an LMFT in Westlake Village at Engage Therapy and for this month’s blog I thought I would focus on sleep. Sleep is something that can be overlooked easily by teens and parents. Whether it’s the overload of parenting and work for adults or the fully packed days of school, friends, homework, sports, and video gaming of teens, sleep is something that can easily be lost. Over the last 7 years of working in the mental health field I have seen that for many people sleep has lost its value.
Since this is a blog for teens, I can spend a little time on some (but not all) of the things I have heard and seen that get in the way of sleep for teens. First, we’ll start with – they want to have fun! Play video games and talk with friends. Second, they may be constantly trying to catch up on their school work after their job or practice. Third, screen time may be filling their nights with YouTube videos, watching their favorite shows or scrolling through Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, these are pretty common things nowadays and adults do them too but lack of sleep can affect teens mental health, ability to manage stress, ability to focus, regulation of mood and much more.
Before I get into the tips for helping teens sleep, we can add some basic reasons/reminders why you might want to get some more rest. Sleep is an anabolic state which means your body is able to rejuvenate and grow. Consistent, good quality sleep will in a sense help rebuild you. It will help balance hormones, improve brain function and increase physical energy. It also helps teens and adults make better decisions, decrease anxiety/stress and better manage fluctuations in mood. In other terms, sleep is the restoration for the most important parts of our lives, our body and brain and if we deprive ourselves of it, we get further away from the best version of ourselves.
So if you are struggling to sleep or want to sleep more, here are some tips to help:
Saturnino Yniguez, M.A.
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