877-944-6131 Email Us

Clinician’s Corner: Teen Sleep #2

The teenage brain is not an adult brain with fewer miles on it. During adolescence, the teen brain is only 80% developed.  The frontal lobe (responsible for reasoning, planning, judgement, emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, and sexual behaviors) is not fully in gear until age 25-30.

The adolescent brain more susceptible to alcohol induced toxicity. Adult brain cells recover faster.  The teen brain is more susceptible to marijuana as well, by blocking cell signaling.  What teens did last weekend still affects test taking skills on Thursday.   Indulging in alcohol and marijuana over the weekend can cause a “Self-induced learning disability” Teens should not be consuming massive amounts of caffeine to keep alert due to lack of sleep


The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls their sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm.

About 72 percent of children ages six to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom!

  • which leads to getting less sleep on school nights compared with other kids
  • almost an hour of sleep per night is lost
  • quality of sleep is negatively impacted

Read a book! And here is why:

Using any device in the hour before bed was associated with a 13 to 52 percent increase in the likelihood of needing more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. More than four daytime hours of screen time was associated with a similar increase in risk of “sleep latency,” or taking a long time to fall asleep. This technology provides excess stimuli and can trick your brain into thinking that it needs to stay awake.

  • Checking FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Reading Email
  • Web surfing
  • Gaming

GAMING:   (source: Psychology Today March 2011)

  • A growing body of evidence shows that video games and other electronics induce the fight-or-flight syndrome, putting the body in a state of stress. Think adrenalin.
  • Studies show sustained increases in blood pressure and pulse, even hours after playing a video game. It does not have to be a violent game, or even an action game-or even a game at all!
  • Over time, internet surfing and texting will similarly put the brain and body in a state of stress, just from the high level of visual and cognitive stimulation

TAKING CONTROL of SLEEP—Sleep Tips to Promote Sleep and a Healthy Lifestyle

Establish a regular sleep schedule

During the day:

  • Exposure to light in the morning
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
  • Exercise, but not too close to bedtime
  • Avoid lengthy or late naps

Establish a regular bedtime routine

About one hour before going to bed:

  • Engage in a relaxing, non-alerting activity
  • Do not drink or eat too much
  • Maintain a quiet, dark and preferably cool, but comfortable sleep environment. TV, computers, notepads, phones etc need to be turned off and powered down completely.

Your Thompson Pharmacist is a great resource for all your family’s needs  from teens to grandparents many people are chasing a good night’s sleep.  Go Ahead and ASK… at Thompson Pharmacy it’s All for YOU!!