Tag Archives: Melatonin

Sleep Disorder and Teenagers

There is a sleep disorder that affects between seven to ten percent of teenagers called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, also known as DNS. Most teenagers outgrow this disorder by the time they reach young adulthood. Less then one percent of adults are believed to have DSP. Often people mistake this sleep disorder for insomnia.

Left on their own, people with delayed sleep phase disorder would stay up until very late, sometimes until 4 or 5 a.m. They like to get up very late in the morning or early afternoon. Often they are referred to as night owls.

Many teenagers like to stay up late and sleep late in the morning. Sometimes this is because they want to socialize at that time of the day. However, it can also be due to the natural delay in the circadian sleep / wake rhythm at their age of development.

Teenagers with this sleep disorder often have a very hard time getting up in the morning for school. Even if they go to sleep at a regular time, such as 11 p.m., they toss and turn for hours like someone with insomnia. They difference is, unlike an insomniac, people with delayed sleep phase disorder have no difficulty staying asleep. They do have a very difficult time getting up early in the morning. Teenagers with this sleep disorder are very tired during the day and may even fall asleep in the classroom. The exact cause of this sleep disorder is not known. It is known for certain that it is a circadian rhythm problem.

Treatment for this sleep disorder is available for people that need to get onto a more traditional sleep / wake schedule. The types of treatment include, bright light, chronotherapy, melatonin and over- the-counter prescribed sleeping pills.

Bright light treatment for delayed sleep phase disorder uses bright light to trick the brain’s circadian clock . Exposure to bright light shifts the circadian rhythm if it is administered within a few hours of the body’s lowest temperature at night.

Using chronotherapy as a treatment for someone with delayed sleep phase disorder requires a block of time one week long. Each day bedtime is delayed by three hours successively. For example, for someone that falls asleep at 2 a.m. but wants to fall asleep at 11. p.m., their bedtime would move to 5 a.m. on the first day. The next day it would move to 8 a.m. and continue this cycle for a week. A teenager suffering with delayed sleep phase disorder would need a week off from school in order to complete this therapy. Once the desired bed time is reached it is very important to keep a consistent wake up time.

There are several treatments involving various drugs that are used to treat delayed sleep phase disorder. Melatonin has been successful in changing the sleep cycle of people with this sleep disorder. Prescription medication such as Ramelteon, and other sleeping pills, have been successful in treating teenagers and adults with delayed sleep phase disorder.

If your teenager has trouble falling asleep and always wants to stay up late, be aware of the possibility that a sleep disorder may be present.

Natural Therapy To Relieve Insomnia-Looking For Solutions

Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep is incredibly frustrating. This can happen to all of us every now and then, but if it’s an ongoing problem, then it is classified as chronic insomnia. Looking for solutions to get decent rest is the goal of most people who suffer from the condition, but they don’t necessarily want to turn to drugs. That’s why natural therapy to relieve insomnia can be such a good option.

Meditation is a wonderful way to reduce insomnia. Practicing meditation or prayer during the day will help to remove stress, and will focus you on being calm. This will make it much easier for you to be in a good state of mind for falling asleep. You can also invest about 15 minutes of time meditating or praying before bedtime to achieve the same state of calmness.

Another natural therapy to relieve insomnia that a lot of people like to use is aromatherapy. Essential oils like lavender relax your mind and body and will assist in bringing about sleep. Using aromatherapy in combination with a warm bath will set the mood. You can also place a few drops of lavender oil on a cloth and put it under your pillow at night. You don’t want to use so much that the smell becomes overpowering, but rather just enough to calm you down.

What you eat and drink can have a major impact on your ability to fall asleep. Having a glass of warm milk before bed has been a home remedy for insomnia for ages. Of course you shouldn’t drink or eat dairy products if you’re lactose intolerant. Try to avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime as your body will be working hard to digest it. Also, if there are certain foods that cause you trouble, you shouldn’t eat them. Having an alcoholic drink before bed may seem to help, but it really doesn’t. Alcohol affects your ability to stay sleeping, so do your best to not have a nightcap.

There is a natural chemical called melatonin which regulates how you sleep. Your body naturally produces it, but if it’s not producing enough you can find melatonin supplements. However, as it’s still a pill–even though it’s a natural one–you should consider it carefully before deciding to take it.

Most people would consider herbal remedies as a natural therapy to relieve insomnia, and valerian root is one that a lot of people use effectively. It seems to work by relaxing the nervous system and can produce a feeling of well-being. However, as it is an herbal supplement, you should check any medications you are on to see if they may react negatively with the valerian. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you aren’t 100% sure. Drinking cup of herbal or chamomile tea before bed can help to soothe you as well. Being in overall good health does a lot to relieve insomnia too. You may want to kick any bad habits you have, exercise regularly and eat healthy.