Help Your Child Manage Insomnia - Scarsdale Moms

Learn About Sleep Disruptions

Anxiety can disrupt a healthy sleep cycle.

A teenager who worries excessively may focus on negative experiences, a specific fear, or the possibility of being faced with uncomfortable situations in the future. These worries could ultimately lead to their failure to fall or stay asleep.

Teens with extreme insomnia linked to anxiety may struggle in school or refuse to go to school. If anxiety is left untreated, a teen’s cognitive development may be impaired.


Follow a Schedule

Following a consistent schedule trains the brain when it is time to wake up and go to sleep.

Devise a daily schedule for your teen to follow. Include all of the activities that your teenager normally follows. Outline a block of time designated solely for sleep.

Request the help of your teen’s counselor if you have any uncertainties about how to go about setting up a well-rounded schedule. If your teen has been experiencing anxiety in school, the counselor may advise that extra time is taken out to address homework assignments and other variables that directly affect your teen’s grades and ability to fall asleep.


Introduce Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques reduce muscle tension, slow the heart rate, and induce a feeling of calmness.

Offer some relaxing activities to your teen. Practicing yoga, participating in light exercise, or listening to white noise are a few relaxation techniques that your teenager can participate in each evening.

Relaxation techniques can help your teenager become distracted from their worries. Instead, they will be focused on the task at hand, which can greatly improve their ability to regulate anxiety and fall asleep when it is their scheduled bedtime.

Set up an area in your home that your child can use daily when practicing each of the relaxation techniques.


Minimize Disruptions

Video games, television shows, music, and other forms of entertainment that produce noise can stimulate the brain. The stimulation can make it difficult for your teen to drift off to sleep.

Analyze the types of activities that your teen normally participates in before bed. Modify your teen’s use of disruptive activities. Delegate a specific time of the day for your teen to participate in each activity.

Create a comfortable setting for your teen to fall asleep in. Dim lighting, curtains, and comfortable bedding can make your teen’s bedroom feel safe and cozy. This could greatly improve their mood and the likelihood that they will fall asleep shortly after they climb into their bed at night.


Modify the Diet

Consuming caffeine, sugar, and spicy foods could hinder a healthy sleep pattern.

Provide your child with nutrient-rich foods and healthy beverages. Modifying your child’s diet could lessen bouts of insomnia. Introducing a healthy diet could improve your teen’s mental well-being too. This could lead to better performance in school and other social situations.


Maintain Contact With the Counselor

Maintain contact with your child’s counselor throughout your loved one’s treatment for anxiety.

If your teen continues to experience difficulties with falling or staying asleep, your teen’s counselor may use additional strategies to treat the anxiety.



Seek Additional Guidance

Anxiety disorders can occur at any time.

Being aware of what triggers these bouts will help you provide the support that your teen needs to live a healthy and productive life.

If you would like additional information about anxiety and the manner in which it can affect your teen’s sleep patterns, contact a counselor at Anxiety Institute. We look forward to helping your teen have better sleep.

About the Author

Headshot: Stacy Santacroce, LCSW

Over the last sixteen years, Stacy has worked with clients of all ages providing care for mental health and substance use disorders in outpatient, partial and intensive outpatient settings. Stacy maximizes the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy using an individualized, strengths-based approach.

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