ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parenting Tips: How to Ensure Healthy Brain Development in your Teen - Part 1.

Updated on February 24, 2013

Establishing Healthy Sleep Patterns In Your Teen

Ensuring Healthy Brain Development in Your Teen Part 1.

(Due to the length of this article it has been divided into 3 parts)

How can you aid your teen with healthy brain development?

This time of your teen’s development is really crucial due to the fact that right now, the environmental influences in your child’s life will “hard-wire” their brain for life. What does that mean? Well, it means that the activities and habits your child engages in now will influence how their brain matures and it will influence the way their brain operates once it is fully matured. This makes the way teenagers spend their time incredibly important.

As a parent it is really worth thinking about the amount of time your teen is involved in healthy activities, like: sports, hobbies and outdoor activities, as opposed to the more unhealthy activities like spending hours watching TV, surfing the net and leading a overly sedentary life-style. Remember the activities your child partakes in now will form the type of brain your child takes into adulthood.

Even though there may be days that you feel completely useless in your teen’s life, you actually do play a vital role in your child’s life. The relationship you build with your with your teen, and how you guide and influence them, will be extremely important in helping your child to build a healthy brain.

It is not as tough as it may sound. There are some very definite and easy steps that you can take to help your child along during this stage.

These include:

Ensuring that your child gets enough sleep.

Promoting effective and critical thinking skills.

Encouraging and rewarding positive behavior.

Establishing healthy sleep patterns.

Sleep patterns during the teen years tend to change. This is due to the fact that the brain begins to produce melatonin later in the day, than it did before.

[NOTE: Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal (pih-knee-uhl) gland, which is a pea-sized gland situated just above the centre of the brain. During the day the pineal gland is dormant, but when the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal gland is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise suddenly and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood, stay raised for about 12 hours (through the night) before the light of a new day causes them to fall back to low daytime levels. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable].

Because of this your teen could have problems falling asleep early, and may only be ready for sleep after their usual bedtime. This may cause them to lose out on hours of sleep, because no matter what time they went to bed the night before, they will still have to wake up early for school, and sleep is essential for the developing brain of a teen.

Try the following tips to help your teen establish healthy and consistent sleep patterns:

* Make sure that your child’s sleep environment is quiet, peaceful and dark.

* Try to ensure that they turn off TV’s, computers, video games etc. at least one hour before bedtime (electronic equipment can “awaken” the brain and make it difficult for the brain to wind down).

* Try to encourage your teen to read, write in diary, or engage in other quiet activities just before bedtime.

* Keep fizzy drinks and sweets away for at least one to two hours before your child is due to go to bed. It will be very difficult for your child to rest peacefully while they have sugar raging through their blood stream.

* Avoid any caffeinated drinks close to bedtime, this includes: coffee, tea, hot

chocolate, some carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks.

* I know sometimes hectic days can throw routines out completely, but try to establish a nighttime routine as much as possible, that includes going to bed and waking up at the same time.

The amount of sleep required, varies from person to person, but a teen should average around 9 hours of sleep per night.

For part two, Promoting effective and critical thinking skills, please click here.

The importance of sleep in the teen years.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)