Normalizing Sleep Patterns

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am an 11 year old girl and school starts next week but summer made my whole sleep pattern weird and I end up going to sleep at 3-6 and waking up at 10-12 can anyone help?

A: Glad you are asking this important question. Here are the basics:

  • Try to keep the temperature moderate, the lights out and use a night light when you get up. Remember, our bodies are affected by light. Keep it low so it lets you see, but doesn’t stir your biochemistry.
  • Just before you go to bed, avoid caffeine, chocolate, and over-the-counter medication that may contain stimulants.
  • If you do exercise (which you should if you have medical clearance), don’t do it right before sleep. This often arouses people and can make it difficult to get to sleep.
  • Keep the bed a special space for sleeping. The mind can associate the bed with almost everything else that can detract from falling and staying asleep. Eating, TV, and deep emotional discussions are frequent culprits.

Pleasant dreams.

For readers who are interested you can take my sleep quiz here.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Normalizing Sleep Patterns. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/27/normalizing-sleep-patterns/