Patient: I am 14 and for the past year or so I haven’t been able to fall alseep til after around 1:45 am and I usually wake up at 6:50. I have pulled several all nighters but never really recovered from them. I hate taking naps and sleeping I just want to be up all the time. Is this an issue I should be worried about?
Doctor: Thank you for your question. There could be several factor that could be causing your difficulty falling asleep. You are getting only about 4 hours of sleep a night, and as a growing teen, this is not enough. Anywhere between 6-8 hours of sleep would be adequate for optimal health and growth. In order have a longer, more restful night of sleep there are several modifications that you can make to your lifestyle.First we recommend that you try not to have any heavy meals two hours before sleeping. Also,try not to watch television, or work on your computer one hour before sleeping as this can delay falling asleep. Lastly, caffeine or energy drinks can cause you to have difficulty falling asleep. It is important that you avoid these beverages for about 5 hours prior to bedtime. If you try these, your ability to fall asleep should improve.Thank you for choosing AskTheDoctor.com for your medical question.