Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Night

Do you find it hard to go to sleep at night?  Are you distracted by games, friends, TV, or studies?  Do you simply not "feel" tired?  Research (Carskadon, 2006) shows that melatonin (sleep inducing hormone) levels rise later at night for teens than they do in children and adults -- and remain at a higher level later in the morning.  Though times vary for individuals, levels of melatonin start to rise in teenagers generally between 10 and 11 p.m. In other words, you may not "feel" tired until 10 or 11 p.m which may collude with other distractions to keep you from getting the sleep you need to think straight, act well, and feel  happy.

Getting to bed at a reasonable time is a test; one you want to pass.  Although you may not feel tired, you can act in ways to prepare for sleep.  Avoid TV, computer, cell phones, caffeine, loud music, exercise, and thinking to hard.  Replace them with small routine tasks like brushing teeth, setting out clothes and school or work material for next day, taking a bath (not shower), and dimming lights.

Most importantly, pray.  Talk to God about what you did well during the day.  Apologize for your mistakes and consider ways to improve.  Ask God for His help for yourself and those you are concerned about.  Thank God for big and little gifts.  Ponder God.  This is formally called an examination of conscience.  Here is an example of a more thorough and formal Catholic examination of conscience for teens , from Catholic Education Resource Center.

Good night, dear.