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Sometimes it is desirable or even necessary to go to bed later or stay awake all night. Whether you want to not miss the night telethon or do other important things, be sure to tell all family members about your intentions so that this does not come as a surprise to them. Try different ways to help you stay awake: play on your tablet, wash yourself with cold water, watch TV with a friend. The main thing is to prepare for night wakefulness and how to relax after it, which will help you with additional sleep and proper nutrition.

All good and melatonin!

Melatonin is often called the "sleep hormone", although this is not entirely accurate. Like many hormones produced by our body, melatonin performs many important duties: it takes part in the regulation of blood pressure, counteracts stress and aging, has an antioxidant effect and helps the immune system. It sets our daily rhythm, but it is also produced depending on the periods of sleep and wakefulness, as well as the length of daylight hours. Between midnight and five in the morning, the content of melatonin in our blood is maximum - up to 70% of this useful substance is released, and it immediately gets to work: repair, restore, regenerate ...

Obviously, if melatonin is not secreted, it is not good for our health. Alas, this will happen to each of us sooner or later - with age, the production of melatonin decreases, and the elderly begin to suffer from insomnia. It happens that the production of melatonin is temporarily lost: for example, you travel and crossed several time zones at a time, or work at night, in bright light. Or ... you are a teenager!

”In adolescence, hormonal changes in the whole organism take place, and such a physiological“ trifle ”as the failure of biorhythms goes unnoticed. Meanwhile, the root cause in the temporary shift in the production of melatonin (it is about an hour and a half) is that without a natural “sleeping pill” the child simply cannot fall asleep according to the regimen and is forced to become an owl.

It’s not scary in itself, if it weren’t for school, you still have to get up at seven in the morning! An adult of these 7.5 - 8 hours would be enough, but not a child.

The danger of lack of sleep for a child

Children generally do not sleep like adults: the phase of deep sleep without dreams lasts 40% longer. At this time, the brain continues to work - assimilates the information received per day. The proportions of "fast" and "slow" sleep change until about 21 years old, and during this period regular lack of sleep can adversely affect the development of the child, and then the adolescent - up to irreversible changes in the structure of the brain.

A global study of this kind was conducted in Canada, at McGill University in Montreal. About 20,000 young people aged 17-24 were examined and it was found that the increase in mental illness among young people (anxiety disorders, depression and manic-depressive psychosis) was largely due to lack of sleep. Presumably, the reason may be in different speeds of processing negative and positive memories, which “absorb” different parts of the brain during sleep, and it takes us more time to learn positive experiences, so lack of sleep automatically “sets” us into depression. This is the reason for the "difficult nature" and other features of adolescence.

Attention deficit

However, this is just a hypothesis, but you can see for yourself how a lack of sleep affects the short-term memory of a child: in a sleepy child, information literally “flies into one ear, flies into the other” - dates, facts, rules - it is impossible to memorize anything!

“The reason for this is the deterioration in the absorption of glucose from the blood with lack of sleep. And glucose is needed for the normal functioning of the prefrontal cortex - the area responsible for the ability to predict. In fact, the body behaves as if the child is hungry, and "a hungry belly is deaf to learning."

Teenagers' internal clock

Adolescence is always to blame when it comes to sleep. The body’s internal clock, officially called circadian rhythms, changes as puberty occurs. Melatonin, the brain hormone associated with sleep, is released late in the evening in adolescents. Therefore, if a younger child easily falls asleep quite early, adolescents are still not tired, and after a few hours they need to get a good night's sleep, longer than expected - after all, at about seven in the morning they need to get up to school or lyceum. So it turns out that at night a teenager cannot sleep for a long time, and in the morning he cannot wake up, but is forced to do this because of a tight social schedule.

This becomes a serious problem for adolescents with great academic employment, which depletes the body even more against the background of chronic lack of sleep. So that the child is not late for school, he should be woken up an hour earlier than usual, so that waking up is not hasty and stressful for him. But it is also necessary to take care that the teenager goes to bed on time.

Obesity and diabetes

And if only for teaching! Having received the signal “I am hungry” (glucose has not been absorbed), the brain gives a signal “urgent to eat”. The child overeats, as a result - obesity, and in the long term - also diabetes. Yes, the relationship of lack of sleep and diabetes is indirect, but it is!

One study even calculated that lack of sleep increases the risk of injury by 67%. Indeed, the distraction caused by lack of sleep affects not only the speed of solving arithmetic examples, but also the speed of the reaction. If we are talking about a tucked up leg in a physical education lesson, this is unpleasant, but not fatal. But the statistics (again, Canadian) that young people under 25 appear in most accidents caused by lack of sleep is already alarming.

The effect of lack of sleep on the body of a teenager

When teens fall asleep, it can cause serious side effects. It is difficult for the child to concentrate at school, he can sit and doze in the classroom, which causes the teacher’s natural bewilderment. This can lead to a decrease in labor productivity and study. Unfortunately, this is a standard problem for adolescents. In extreme cases, lack of sleep can lead to unmotivated aggression, malicious behavior or depression (which can lead to even greater problems with sleep).

Lack of sleep can also make a teenager more prone to acne and other skin problems. Poor concentration and delayed response, characteristic of children with lack of sleep, can have very dangerous consequences. Sometimes adolescent sleep problems are symptoms of diseases or other medical causes, such as side effects from drugs, sleep apnea, anemia, or mononucleosis. Then a visit of parents with a teenager to a pediatrician and psychologist is necessary.

What can parents do so that a teenager gets enough sleep?

Communicating with a teenage child, parents can make proper sleep a priority in their daily routine. First of all, you need to develop a sleep regimen and those hours in which a teenager wakes up. It is very important to maintain this plan even on weekends. If the child does not sleep at night, and then lie in bed until the afternoon of Saturday or Sunday, it will be very difficult to change his internal biorhythms again. Then it will become almost impossible for a teenager to fall asleep on Monday at normal times and wake up early in the morning.

In order for the child to fall asleep and wake up on time, he needs to create conditions for a good sleep. Let there be a dim light in your child’s room, also turn off the computer screen before going to bed. Turn off the external noise. You also need to make sure that the teenager's room is warm enough.

In the morning, you need to avoid bright light and sun, which will allow the teenager to wake up comfortably. If a teenager is tired and wants to take a nap after dinner, limit his sleep time to 30 minutes, the possibility of sleeping longer can prevent him from falling asleep at night. Try to make sure that the teenager avoids night homework and does not sit over lessons all night.

Let the teenager stay away from prolonged watching TV, computer games and other overexcitation programs and classes 2 hours before bedtime. The dangers of electronic media in the teenager’s bedroom are evidenced by this fact. In 2006, the National Survey Fund found that children with four or more electronic gadgets in their bedrooms did not chronically get enough sleep. When your teenager goes to bed, make sure that he does not do any other activities, and the whole emphasis is only on falling asleep. In addition, teens should avoid chocolate and caffeinated drinks after 4 p.m. This will contribute to their better falling asleep.

Sleep problems in adolescents are resolved. It is only necessary to be included in this process for both parents and adolescents themselves.

Too stressful rhythm of life

English courses - how without English? - additional classes with a tutor in one, two, three subjects, preparation for the exam - of course, during extracurricular hours, school hours, and so are loaded with a lot of subjects that mothers and fathers studied only at institutes. Add to this a sports section, art or music school. Even if your child has enough twenty-four hours to do all this, in the evening he just does not have time to relax, calm down and tune in to sleep. The brain, like a squirrel in a wheel, continues to scroll through the information received during the day - what a healthy dream!

Insomnia Fashion

”At some point, a teenager may consider that night waking is“ stylish, fashionable, youth. ” He is already old enough to go to bed when he wants, and not when his mother says!

Even 20 years ago, he would still fall asleep an hour later, just out of boredom (if he doesn’t slip out to a party at the club, of course), and now he’s hanging out on every social network. To sleep in a chat chat is like dropping out of a clip: in the morning you will no longer be able to demonstrate classmates belonging to a special night world.

They not only distract from sleep (where to fall asleep when there is such a fascinating conversation in the chat!), But they also “deceive” our body with the light of their screens. White light, similar to daylight, assures our brain that around bright, bright day, it is too early to develop melatonin. Here is a teenager (and an adult) and do not want to sleep.


Coffee, cola, and even stronger (and we are not talking about alcohol, but about carbonated drinks with caffeine) invigorate the brain like a whip. The “do not sleep” command stops the production of melatonin, and so on until the moment of exhaustion and the teenager falls into oblivion, more similar to fainting than to a healthy sleep. And, of course, in the energy sector there is also a shock dose of sugar, which makes them especially desirable (and dangerous) in conditions of insufficient glucose uptake.

Weekend insomnia

Finally, the last dangerous factor that may surprise many parents: the teenager’s desire to “sleep off” on the day off. Having lounged in bed before noon (or even longer) in the evening, the child will not be able to fall asleep even after midnight! But on Monday, you need to go to school, where a teenager will fly into a distracted, angry and with an excess of sleeping pills-melatonin in the blood (it will take about an hour to decrease its concentration). Only in a week his condition stabilizes, like Sunday again and you can sleep off again ... For comparison, imagine that every weekend you fly, for example ... to Paris. And you live one day in Paris time, on Monday to return again to Siberia, a few hours in advance. How long can you hold on to such a rhythm?

What to do?

Yes, the recommendations after this sort of flight look trivial: to observe the daily regimen, do not drink drinks containing caffeine after lunch (or better not to drink at all), do not sit before bedtime in front of a computer, TV or smartphone, alternate classes with active and passive rest ...

”If all this does not help (but it should help!) Contact your pediatrician and describe the problems with sleep. Perhaps your teenager needs medications containing melatonin - they will help normalize the circadian rhythm, but they must be taken strictly as directed by the doctor.

In any case, parents should pay attention to how much and how a teenager sleeps. Now you know that the roots of many problems are hidden in a "harmless" lack of sleep!