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Dear Dish-it: I'm Sleep Deprived

January 11, 2013

kids articles

Dear Dish-It,

I have gotten into the habit of watching YouTube on my iPad or a movie on my portable DVD player in bed. It started when I had a few nightmares and my mom said I could watch a movie in bed. But now I can’t sleep without it! I can’t fall asleep until midnight and in the morning I am so tired. How can I overcome this addiction?


Dear Sleepy,

Getting enough sleep is so important for the brain to function properly. Being sleep deprived on a regular basis could lead to depression and memory problems, and it could weaken your immune system which is the part of the body that keeps you from getting sick. There’s also been studies that show a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain.

Get 9 Hours of Sleep

As a teen or preteen, you should aim for about 9 hours every day, but certainly no less than 8. So if you’re getting up for school around 8:00am, you should aim to put the iPad down no later than 11:00pm. But we do suggest that you try to kick this habit. If you’re falling asleep with the screen on, this will affect your sleep cycle, making you less rested than you would if you had no lights on.

Wean Yourself Off

In order to get a perfect night's sleep, it’s recommended that you sleep in the dark. I know it can be scary, but if you wean yourself off of the iPad, you’ll eventually adjust. Start by going to bed a little bit earlier so that you won’t stay on your iPad until midnight. Then try to lay there, listening instead of watching. Then try using a night light in the room and listening to your radio. After that, try turning off your radio. Move the night light further away each night, until you’re able to sleep without it.

See Your Nightmares Differently

Remember that the dark can’t hurt you, and the nightmares, while scary, are simply symbols that mean something else. Try looking up parts of your nightmares in a dream dictionary and you’ll be able to see them for what they really are.

Have Your Say

Do you have any advice for Sleepy? Tell us in our comment section below!