3

votes

Help for teenager who won't sleep in the dark

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 13, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I understand the imporance of sleeping in a darkened room, but I haven't been able to convince my teenage daughter to do the same. Too many horror movies I think! I've tried everthing: explaining the effect on her hormones and weight loss (she's prone to weight gain), sneaking into her room after she's asleep to turn the light off (but she's a very light sleeper, no awful pun intended, and always wakes up in a panic). She's tired all the time, so she's obviously not sleeping well.

I'm wondering if changing out her lightbulb for another type/color - maybe amber? - would lessen the negative impact.

Has anybody else dealt with this issue?

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on July 10, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I like the idea of a dimmer switch on a lamp. Oh, I totally agree about the horror movies, and I've voiced a nearly identical opinion to her. I traumatized myself as a teenager doing the same thing, and often wished those images weren't in my head!

9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

(559)

on May 14, 2011
at 10:55 PM

i'd turn off the light and say it's my house and my power bill

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 14, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Solid advice. HF.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on May 14, 2011
at 11:19 AM

I was thinking of a timer, the kind you can plug something like a lamp into. It could be set to turn off an hour after her bedtime. I guess whether she'd go for that depends on whether she's afraid to go to sleep in the dark or wake up in it.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:39 AM

at least I don't believe I have all the answers and think that there are people out there who might have great knowledge about sleep disturbances, anxiety, adolescence and so on. Not everything is in the diet, and not all tricks work same for every person. And maybe you might want to see a nice therapist to talk about anger management.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:37 AM

how come you know all the answers without even seeing the person? we can all throw advice, but each of us is different. Visiting a therapist doesn't have to be expensive if you have an insurance, I agree that if that's not the case it might be expensive (I have no idea). You really don't see that there is something strange in the way you attacked me? The therapist might give the same advice or suggestions, but at least it's AFTER seeing the kid face to face and talking with her. My therapist helped me a lot in dealing with anxiety and stress, which helped me sleep better.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:37 PM

Good idea, AC. Her little lamp has the switch on the cord so it could probably be draped around her bedpost. I'll suggest it.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:14 PM

@Portesa: You could also try getting one of those remote switches so she could have full 1 second control over whether the lights are on or not, and you could even get one with a dimmer. Having to get up to turn the light on generally would make it scarier for somebody who's afraid of the dark.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:12 PM

@Yoannah_offca: I have some serious issues toward mental health? Does that mean I should see a therapist too? Either way, we don't need a therapist here. The problem is easy to solve and I already laid out how in the post I linked to in my answer to the OP. Nobody needs to pay an obscene amount of money to some "expert". The information is right here, and also perhaps in anybody's common sense.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:08 PM

@Yoannah_offca: You disagree that making fun of them is a good idea? And you think it might not work, and also they might end up feeling stupid and afraid to share their fears anymore? Glad we agree, because that's exactly how I concluded the post you're referring to.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Ah, thanks AC, gotcha!

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Yes, the panic is only if I wake her up.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Thanks, Sara. I could probably make a cute one, something satiny. : ) OMG, I do remember as a teenager sometimes feeling so incredibly sleepy, and having to nap, sometimes at strange times/locations.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:55 PM

She's almost 15. I was scared of the dark at her age - read lots of Stephen King lol. I'm sure she'll outgrow it, just want her to feel more rested in the meantime.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Still use that window, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't work. Even if she did start to change and like it, peer pressure is awful, especially on something like food. Food isn't a drug. D.A.R.E. didn't mention sugar. Her friends will give her crap about being too healthy for cinnabon, and next thing you know she's drinking down the cream cheese frosting. It's all part of being a teenage girl, sadly.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:56 PM

the things you suggested are more or less what possibly a therapist could suggest. What the heck would be wrong in it? Because it's called "therapist"? Do you believe that people who go to a therapist are crazy or damaged or somehow broken? I really can't understand your negativity and attack on such a benign suggestion. oh, and suggesting that making fun of a kid's irrational fears is a good idea... I disagree. Not only it might not work, but in addition to the fear, the kid/person might now feel stupid and afraid to share his/her fears anymore.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Actually, the dog is a good idea. An expensive, but excellent idea. I second that.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I was about to suggest an eye mask. If she agrees, maybe get her a fun or sexy one of her choice. Make it special and something she would use. As a mom who was recently a teenager, this sounded like the best advice I could give. Unless you want my "Mean Mom" advice, which would be not letting her see these movies with her friends until she gets over it. At her age I started taking naps after school. My mom didn't let me because she thought I was depressed. Really I was just tired. I also didn't have a class after lunch. Maybe encourage an afternoon nap? What teen doesn't want to sleep more?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

insulting? what's wrong with talking to a therapist? YOu have some serious issues toward mental health. I know that there is a stigma in teh society about anything to do with psyche... but that level? I dont' see much of a difference between an advice to see dermatologist, therapist (I didn't say psychiatrist!), or allergologist. Therapist can help find relaxing techniques, figure out what is the source of the problem. It's a one thing if a small child wakes up from a nightmare a few nights, but not when someone cannot fall asleep in dark every night. I Can't understand your attack.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:47 PM

How old is she ?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

An eye mask would have a similar effect. I do use a eye mask sometimes to get to sleep though I find it usually comes off after I have fallen asleep. It usually ends up down the back of the bed by the morning.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

I do use a eye mask sometimes to get to sleep though I find it usually comes off after I have fallen asleep. It usually ends up down the back of the bed by the morning.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:43 PM

@Portesa, re "time preference," when something is linked it is underlined. Anonymous Coward has already linked you to the definition of this term.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:31 PM

+1 on the soothing music or sounds. Even though it's supposed to be better for you, I still find it very hard to sleep in a totally silent room. When I was 11/12 I had to listen to music to fall asleep. Personally I don't find sleeping in total darkness helpful but avoiding blue light (from the TV and computer) before bed has improved my sleep quality a lot. Since you say she's open to help, has she tried that?

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Having a cat or dog in the room is comforting, too. Especially a big dog. :-)

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:24 PM

I also had a fishtank in my room, which is very relaxing.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thank for the thoughtful advice, Jodi - I don't judge her, in fact we joke about it sometimes, especially when she's going to a friend's house to watch something gruesome lol. I'll see if she likes the idea of some ambient music. She's open to help, but is also very stubborn and opinionated, go figure.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Great answer Matthew! Complete with picture!

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I thought Portesa meant she panicked because someone was unexpectedly in her room while she was sleeping. I sure would.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:16 PM

@AC - I think the fear of the dark here is a problem because it is causing a paniced state - which in my opinion is not good - but fairly normal at 15, as long as she can overcome it (to the point where she is no longer panicing). A little bit of fear is ok - full on panic - not so much. Portesa - I have a friend that sleeps with a nightlight that alternates colours - it's very faint and is supposed to be ok as far as night-lights go, I'll see if I can find a link

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thank you, Matthew! I'll pick one up and see what she thinks.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Hmmm. I was just wondering if maybe an eye mask would help. The light would still be there if she woke up and needed it, but maybe she'd sleep better.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Posted at the same time on just that point :)

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Thanks Bree - yes, the responses were a little more intense than I was expecting lol. She's almost 15, a freshman in high school. She knows she creates this fear by watching horror movies with her friends, but she's not willing to stop. When it's not an immediate health or safety issue, I let her work through her problems giving advice as asked.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:55 PM

By the way, why is fear of the dark a big issue? What goal does the kid have that's hampered by being afraid of the dark?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Yeah, but once you choose whether her light is on or not at night, you're on a terrible road. But she said that she only tried sneaking around once, and perhaps only to see whether it helped and the kid decided to continue, but it didn't work and she won't try it again. So this conversation is over, as she doesn't plan to coerce her kid into keeping the light off. Thank god!

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Continued: You don't even know whether this is a problem. Maybe the kid knows that it's happening because of horror movies, and that it's irrational, but she simply doesn't want to go through the pain of resetting the associations, or maybe she values horror movies more than getting a good night sleep. Don't presume that she has the same goals as you, for that would be self-centered arrogance, as displayed by every other person I meet. Therapy, holy shit. Next thing you know, somebody will suggest you coerce the kid into taking meds.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Therapy sessions? Are you serious? Every other kid is scared of the dark, and some even carry it into their late teens. It's completely normal. The way to solve it is linked to in my answer to this thread. It's insulting to suggest "therapy sessions" for something so benign and easy to understand, not to mention easy to fix if the kid wants to. Also, the "psyche" is often a function of diet.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:10 PM

She doesn't see it as a problem, and I don't harp on it. I accept there's nothing I can do, and I totally embrace your approach of simply making suggestions when it seems appropriate. I'm not sure what you mean by "time preference."

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:07 PM

Thanks, Olivia. No, I don't want to create stress over this. In all fairness, I only tried turning her light off once - I was hoping she might sleep better and would decide to continue.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Sheri, I'm sure there are dietary issues involved. My son and I eat paleo, but she eats crap, mostly at school and out with her friends - I don't keep it in the house. She occassionally expresses interest in eating better, and talks about wanting to get in shape this summer, so this might be my window. I'll keep the house well-stocked and try to be encouraging.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Sleeping in a lit room affects hormones, and I've read can affect weight, risk of diabetes, and of course just getting a good night's sleep. We don't have a basement, but she has her own room and nobody is hovering.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:55 PM

Continued: Also, if you start insisting on stuff like that, you're gonna get a kid who thinks you're crazy and a kid apt to start (rationally) rebelling against your idiotic tyranny. If Portesa actually insists she leave her light off or something, I honestly wish the kid luck in however they try to rebel. When faced with shit like that (public school, overcontrolling parents forcing shit on you "for your own good", etc), your only way out of the hole is to rebel. Giving in and becoming a drone is the last thing you want to wish on somebody. Usually.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Continued: As I said in my answer, perhaps her time preference is simply too high for turning off the light and suffering through it for the first few days to be beneficial. All you can do is give her the advice and explanation in the link in my answer, and then let her decide whether her time preference is low enough to handle that. If it's SUBJECTIVELY too high, torturing her by insisting she keep the lights off wouldn't even be for her own good.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:50 PM

No. Bad. Insisting your kid do something that has no negative affect on you whatsoever is the first step to being an over-controlling parent who's gonna wreck their kids and end up with kids who the moment they get out of the house find they have absolutely no discipline, and start being reckless and crazy. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE for the sake of rationality, DON'T insist that your kid do something "for their own good" if they're not risking permanent damage (such as if they're a 3 year old walking into a street).

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 13, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Good luck convincing a teenager to do anything. I might just let this one slide, honestly. I'm still only 19 but when I was younger and living at home I would not have been very pleased if my mother was doing things like sneaking into my room to turn off my light based on her idea of what was best for me. I would have been pissed that she was nagging and treating me like a child and would have been less likely to listen to her at all. Is it such a major issue that it is worth creating any conflict/further stress over?

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13 Answers

best answer

8
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Good luck convincing the average teenager to do anything for the benefit of their health :)

Getting an amber light to use as a night light is one possiblity. There is some evidence that it is the blue part of the light spectrum that suppresses melatonin production and that using amber coloured light bulbs that block this blue light are not as distruptive to your sleep. Amber lenses to block blue light and improve sleep.

There are even some people selling light bulbs for this purpose. https://www.lowbluelights.com/detail.asp?id=7

help-for-teenager-who-won't-sleep-in-the-dark

I suspect though that any normal cheap orange light bulb would have a similar effect. They give the room a nice warm glow rather like the light from a fire.

It is a possiblity you could be worth suggesting as an experiment to try.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Great answer Matthew! Complete with picture!

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thank you, Matthew! I'll pick one up and see what she thinks.

4
Medium avatar

(12379)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:38 PM

How old is she?

I think the fear of the dark is a big issue - that needs to be resolved before anything else can get fixed. I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions on how to help that fear.

I think some posters are being hard on you here - You're not choosing her friends, her music or who she dates - you are trying to help her sleep better. I think that being a 'hovering' mom is better than being an absent mom (not that I think that you are hovering - because I don't think that you are)!

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Yeah, but once you choose whether her light is on or not at night, you're on a terrible road. But she said that she only tried sneaking around once, and perhaps only to see whether it helped and the kid decided to continue, but it didn't work and she won't try it again. So this conversation is over, as she doesn't plan to coerce her kid into keeping the light off. Thank god!

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Yes, the panic is only if I wake her up.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Thanks Bree - yes, the responses were a little more intense than I was expecting lol. She's almost 15, a freshman in high school. She knows she creates this fear by watching horror movies with her friends, but she's not willing to stop. When it's not an immediate health or safety issue, I let her work through her problems giving advice as asked.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:16 PM

@AC - I think the fear of the dark here is a problem because it is causing a paniced state - which in my opinion is not good - but fairly normal at 15, as long as she can overcome it (to the point where she is no longer panicing). A little bit of fear is ok - full on panic - not so much. Portesa - I have a friend that sleeps with a nightlight that alternates colours - it's very faint and is supposed to be ok as far as night-lights go, I'll see if I can find a link

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:55 PM

By the way, why is fear of the dark a big issue? What goal does the kid have that's hampered by being afraid of the dark?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I thought Portesa meant she panicked because someone was unexpectedly in her room while she was sleeping. I sure would.

3
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on May 14, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Call the power company, cut the power.

She will get used to it.

Harsh, but hey I used to be the same way I would sleep with the lights on at my mothers, and it was just not heard of at my dads place. So I got used to sleeping in the dark.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 14, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Solid advice. HF.

3
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:17 PM

As a teenager I suffered from sleep paralysis, so I can sympathize with young people who have sleep problems. I think you can help her with this without being too intrusive. Sleep affects so many things -- school performance, mood, stress, weight, etc. You can certainly approach the issue as a desire to help her sleep better without being judgemental about the reasons she wants to keep a light on.

I'm no expert, but maybe she can try lowering the light level a bit at first (switch to dimmer night lights maybe) and add other comforting things. I really liked having something soothing to listening to: white noise, ambient music, rain sounds, etc.

If there is a fear issue involved, let her know that above all you want her to feel safe, and you'll do anything she needs you to do.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Having a cat or dog in the room is comforting, too. Especially a big dog. :-)

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thank for the thoughtful advice, Jodi - I don't judge her, in fact we joke about it sometimes, especially when she's going to a friend's house to watch something gruesome lol. I'll see if she likes the idea of some ambient music. She's open to help, but is also very stubborn and opinionated, go figure.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Actually, the dog is a good idea. An expensive, but excellent idea. I second that.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:31 PM

+1 on the soothing music or sounds. Even though it's supposed to be better for you, I still find it very hard to sleep in a totally silent room. When I was 11/12 I had to listen to music to fall asleep. Personally I don't find sleeping in total darkness helpful but avoiding blue light (from the TV and computer) before bed has improved my sleep quality a lot. Since you say she's open to help, has she tried that?

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:24 PM

I also had a fishtank in my room, which is very relaxing.

2
0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

I know there are some members here who are very knowledgeable about the effects of sleep on our health, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to minimize the negative effects of sleeping with a light on.

In my original post, I asked whether an amber-colored light bulb might be less stimulating. My small town is at the base of a mountain that has a huge telescope on top. Our street lights are all amber to minimize the light pollution. That's what made me think that maybe an amber bulb would be less disruptive if you were going to sleep with the light on.

Of course, if she didn't like this, I would never insist she her change her light bulb...

Thanks for any advice about this.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

I do use a eye mask sometimes to get to sleep though I find it usually comes off after I have fallen asleep. It usually ends up down the back of the bed by the morning.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Hmmm. I was just wondering if maybe an eye mask would help. The light would still be there if she woke up and needed it, but maybe she'd sleep better.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I was about to suggest an eye mask. If she agrees, maybe get her a fun or sexy one of her choice. Make it special and something she would use. As a mom who was recently a teenager, this sounded like the best advice I could give. Unless you want my "Mean Mom" advice, which would be not letting her see these movies with her friends until she gets over it. At her age I started taking naps after school. My mom didn't let me because she thought I was depressed. Really I was just tired. I also didn't have a class after lunch. Maybe encourage an afternoon nap? What teen doesn't want to sleep more?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:14 PM

@Portesa: You could also try getting one of those remote switches so she could have full 1 second control over whether the lights are on or not, and you could even get one with a dimmer. Having to get up to turn the light on generally would make it scarier for somebody who's afraid of the dark.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Thanks, Sara. I could probably make a cute one, something satiny. : ) OMG, I do remember as a teenager sometimes feeling so incredibly sleepy, and having to nap, sometimes at strange times/locations.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Posted at the same time on just that point :)

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:37 PM

Good idea, AC. Her little lamp has the switch on the cord so it could probably be draped around her bedpost. I'll suggest it.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

An eye mask would have a similar effect. I do use a eye mask sometimes to get to sleep though I find it usually comes off after I have fallen asleep. It usually ends up down the back of the bed by the morning.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on May 14, 2011
at 11:19 AM

I was thinking of a timer, the kind you can plug something like a lamp into. It could be set to turn off an hour after her bedtime. I guess whether she'd go for that depends on whether she's afraid to go to sleep in the dark or wake up in it.

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on May 13, 2011
at 05:36 PM

you mention that she seems to be afraid to fall asleep in a completely dark room. I think this need to be checked out, and it might be that a few therapy sessions would help release the anxiety. This is not just diet, I think the psyche has a huge role in the problem.

Does she sleep with a full light on? or a night lamp? maybe a switch to a dim light would be enough?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:39 AM

at least I don't believe I have all the answers and think that there are people out there who might have great knowledge about sleep disturbances, anxiety, adolescence and so on. Not everything is in the diet, and not all tricks work same for every person. And maybe you might want to see a nice therapist to talk about anger management.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:08 PM

@Yoannah_offca: You disagree that making fun of them is a good idea? And you think it might not work, and also they might end up feeling stupid and afraid to share their fears anymore? Glad we agree, because that's exactly how I concluded the post you're referring to.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:37 AM

how come you know all the answers without even seeing the person? we can all throw advice, but each of us is different. Visiting a therapist doesn't have to be expensive if you have an insurance, I agree that if that's not the case it might be expensive (I have no idea). You really don't see that there is something strange in the way you attacked me? The therapist might give the same advice or suggestions, but at least it's AFTER seeing the kid face to face and talking with her. My therapist helped me a lot in dealing with anxiety and stress, which helped me sleep better.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Continued: You don't even know whether this is a problem. Maybe the kid knows that it's happening because of horror movies, and that it's irrational, but she simply doesn't want to go through the pain of resetting the associations, or maybe she values horror movies more than getting a good night sleep. Don't presume that she has the same goals as you, for that would be self-centered arrogance, as displayed by every other person I meet. Therapy, holy shit. Next thing you know, somebody will suggest you coerce the kid into taking meds.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Therapy sessions? Are you serious? Every other kid is scared of the dark, and some even carry it into their late teens. It's completely normal. The way to solve it is linked to in my answer to this thread. It's insulting to suggest "therapy sessions" for something so benign and easy to understand, not to mention easy to fix if the kid wants to. Also, the "psyche" is often a function of diet.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

insulting? what's wrong with talking to a therapist? YOu have some serious issues toward mental health. I know that there is a stigma in teh society about anything to do with psyche... but that level? I dont' see much of a difference between an advice to see dermatologist, therapist (I didn't say psychiatrist!), or allergologist. Therapist can help find relaxing techniques, figure out what is the source of the problem. It's a one thing if a small child wakes up from a nightmare a few nights, but not when someone cannot fall asleep in dark every night. I Can't understand your attack.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:56 PM

the things you suggested are more or less what possibly a therapist could suggest. What the heck would be wrong in it? Because it's called "therapist"? Do you believe that people who go to a therapist are crazy or damaged or somehow broken? I really can't understand your negativity and attack on such a benign suggestion. oh, and suggesting that making fun of a kid's irrational fears is a good idea... I disagree. Not only it might not work, but in addition to the fear, the kid/person might now feel stupid and afraid to share his/her fears anymore.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 11:12 PM

@Yoannah_offca: I have some serious issues toward mental health? Does that mean I should see a therapist too? Either way, we don't need a therapist here. The problem is easy to solve and I already laid out how in the post I linked to in my answer to the OP. Nobody needs to pay an obscene amount of money to some "expert". The information is right here, and also perhaps in anybody's common sense.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Could you elaborate on what you mean by this: "I understand the imporance of sleeping in a darkened room"? Advice re: teenager: Move her into the basement room where there is no light. She will feel a sense of privacy and independance that way also. Nothing worse than having a parent 'hovering' around you at that age or any.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Sleeping in a lit room affects hormones, and I've read can affect weight, risk of diabetes, and of course just getting a good night's sleep. We don't have a basement, but she has her own room and nobody is hovering.

1
205c3c0820f8587bedc71a0e48c79a09

on July 10, 2012
at 03:53 AM

I started using a salt lamp w/a dimmer switch for my son's room, he's 8 though. I would totally encourage her to give up the horror movies; the short term thrill leaves long term images in her mind and will be a negative part of her brain for years to come.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on July 10, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I like the idea of a dimmer switch on a lamp. Oh, I totally agree about the horror movies, and I've voiced a nearly identical opinion to her. I traumatized myself as a teenager doing the same thing, and often wished those images weren't in my head!

1
99946d97fc74107612d8331dd940ed6b

on May 13, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Being a light sleeper, tired all the time, and not sleeping well sounds like there's dietary issues that may be a priority. I have a couple teenagers, my 18 year old daughter has been Paleo for about 9 months and in prime health, happy, adventurous, and full of energy. Unfortunately, my 15 year old son is the exact opposite and, because he won't give up sugar/carbs, he suffers allergies, waking at night, is typically tired, and complains about boredom. The reason he's able to keep his sugar addiction is due to my ex husband is a dork and encourages the SAD (Standard American Diet).

But, maybe, after school's out, you could insist she keeps the light off and, even if she can't sleep, keep her busy all day so she'll get worn out enough to sleep through the night. Once she sleeps without the light, it should get easier.

Hope this is helpful.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Sheri, I'm sure there are dietary issues involved. My son and I eat paleo, but she eats crap, mostly at school and out with her friends - I don't keep it in the house. She occassionally expresses interest in eating better, and talks about wanting to get in shape this summer, so this might be my window. I'll keep the house well-stocked and try to be encouraging.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:50 PM

No. Bad. Insisting your kid do something that has no negative affect on you whatsoever is the first step to being an over-controlling parent who's gonna wreck their kids and end up with kids who the moment they get out of the house find they have absolutely no discipline, and start being reckless and crazy. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE for the sake of rationality, DON'T insist that your kid do something "for their own good" if they're not risking permanent damage (such as if they're a 3 year old walking into a street).

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Continued: As I said in my answer, perhaps her time preference is simply too high for turning off the light and suffering through it for the first few days to be beneficial. All you can do is give her the advice and explanation in the link in my answer, and then let her decide whether her time preference is low enough to handle that. If it's SUBJECTIVELY too high, torturing her by insisting she keep the lights off wouldn't even be for her own good.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:55 PM

Continued: Also, if you start insisting on stuff like that, you're gonna get a kid who thinks you're crazy and a kid apt to start (rationally) rebelling against your idiotic tyranny. If Portesa actually insists she leave her light off or something, I honestly wish the kid luck in however they try to rebel. When faced with shit like that (public school, overcontrolling parents forcing shit on you "for your own good", etc), your only way out of the hole is to rebel. Giving in and becoming a drone is the last thing you want to wish on somebody. Usually.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 13, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Still use that window, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't work. Even if she did start to change and like it, peer pressure is awful, especially on something like food. Food isn't a drug. D.A.R.E. didn't mention sugar. Her friends will give her crap about being too healthy for cinnabon, and next thing you know she's drinking down the cream cheese frosting. It's all part of being a teenage girl, sadly.

1
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 04:43 PM

If she wants to help herself, here's how: http://paleohacks.com/questions/33351/fear-of-the-dark-and-sleep-quality/33367#33367

But if she's stubborn or doesn't care or something, there's really nothing you can do. Just try to convince her that it would help her sleep quality to sleep in a darker room, but if she doesn't care then just let her find her own way. I concur with Olivia; sneaking around to try to do something you think best for her is a bad road that's generally extremely difficult to get off of.

The most important rule for parenting is wherever the kid doesn't risk permanent damage from screwing up, the best way to teach them is to show them (or simply let them see) the supposedly bad thing that happens when they do something wrong. If she complains about bad sleep quality, make your suggestions and simply suggest she TRY it out.

If she still doesn't want to, ask her why not. If her time preference is simply too high to go through the torture that would engulf her if she used my advice in the link above, what are you gonna do? Force her to do something she SUBJECTIVELY doesn't want? Please don't.

Actually, you could always just make fun of her for having irrational emotions that get in the way of her health and well-being. Depending on the kind of kid you're dealing with, this may work extremely well, or might backfire terribly. Only you and the other people who really know your daughter know the answer to that question. For all I know, she might cry and feel helpless and stupid or something if you said that. That would of course mean you shouldn't go down that road.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:10 PM

She doesn't see it as a problem, and I don't harp on it. I accept there's nothing I can do, and I totally embrace your approach of simply making suggestions when it seems appropriate. I'm not sure what you mean by "time preference."

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:43 PM

@Portesa, re "time preference," when something is linked it is underlined. Anonymous Coward has already linked you to the definition of this term.

0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Ah, thanks AC, gotcha!

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 10, 2012
at 04:18 PM

EFT can help her with her fear of the dark. Fast & effective, especially with an experienced practitioner.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on July 10, 2012
at 12:59 PM

I sleep with a soft t shirt over my eyes, she could try that, if she wakes up in a panic she can simply pull the t shirt off and the room will be light!

0
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on July 10, 2012
at 07:00 AM

She'll be okay with a dose of good comedy shows

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