What causes mood swings in teenagers?

The reason teenagers suffer from mood swings, says Professor Wood, is probably a combination of sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen, which rewire the emotional processing areas of the brain-and the constant striving for social position and independence. “They are trying to demonstrate more independence, without being necessarily given that responsibility,” says Professor Wood.

Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist and author of The Key to Calm, agrees that the constant jockeying for social position is a big factor in teenagers mood swings. “They’re trying to find out who they belong with, in terms of their peers, and how they’re unique in that group,” she says. “It consumes so much of their energy and focus, so a lot of the time they appear irritable when anyone intrudes on their thought processes.”

A lack of good quality sleep may also have something to do with mood swings. “When we get tired our emotions flood our reason,” Linda Blair says.

A good night’s sleep

Sleep changes quite rapidly in early years. “There’s a stable period when you’re a young child but then, during teen years, the normal process is that you start to reduce the amount of time you sleep“, says Dr Ian Smith, director of the sleep centre at Papworth Hospital. “You go down from 10 or 11 hours of sleep to 7 or 8 hours of sleep, which is a normal amount of sleep for adults.”

Parents often let their teenagers stay up later as an acknowledgement that they are now older, but this can happen before their sleep pattern has matured to an adult sleep pattern. “It’s actually quite common that parents can’t get their teenagers son or daughter out of bed because quite a few of them still need 10 to 11 hours sleep, but they’re going to bed at 10 or 11pm at night,” says Dr Smith.

Not getting enough sleep has a noticeable effect on mood. Research has shown that sleep deprived people are worse at handling mildly stressful situations than people who have had a good night’s rest.

Source – http://www.webmd.boots.com/children/features/teenage-mood-swings

Sleep contributes to overall happiness!

Sleep contributes to overall happiness!  Is chronic sleep problems adding to you being tired, crabby, irritable and not productive, contributing to your mood disorder.  Sleep problems are especially common in individuals who have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder.

According to a Harvard Health Publication, chronic sleep problems affect 50 percent to 80 percent of patients in a mental health practice and only 10 percent to 18 percent of adults in the general public.  Sleep problems are especially common in individuals who have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Did you know?

• 65 percent to 90 percent of Individuals clinically diagnosed with major depressive disorder have sleep problems.

• 90 percent of children diagnosed with depression experience a sleep problem.

• Evidence suggest that individuals with depression and sleep problems are less likely to respond to treatment than those who have no sleep problems.

• Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder are 69 percent to 99 percent more likely to experience insomnia while experiencing a manic episode. However, when an individual experiences a depressive episode (bipolar depression) 23 percent to 78 percent of those same individuals sleep excessively.

• 50 percent of individuals clinically diagnosed with anxiety experience difficulty falling asleep.

Treating sleep problems may alleviate or reduce mental health symptoms. An overtired adult is no different than an overtired child — tired and crabby, irritable and not productive, which contributes to mood and behaviors. What does sleep do? Every 90 minutes a normal sleeper changes between two categories; “quiet” sleep and REM (rapid eye movement sleep). During quiet sleep, an individual’s body temperature drops, muscles relax and breathing slows down. This stage of sleep actually boost an individual’s immune system. This is where the body truly rests and rejuvenates.

Following a few behavioral changes that can be implemented to benefit your overall happiness and well-being.

• Restrict or limit alcohol and nicotine. Did you know that alcohol and nicotine contributes to sleeplessness? Alcohol initially depresses the nervous system, which helps some people fall asleep, but the effects wear off in a few hours and people wake up. Nicotine is a stimulant, which speeds heart rate and thinking. Avoiding these substances is best, but not using them before bedtime is another option.

• Start moving. Exercising regularly can help with sleep patterns. People who exercise fall asleep faster and spend more time in deep sleep.

• Create good sleep habits. Many experts believe that people learn insomnia and can learn how to sleep better. Having good “sleep hygiene” includes maintaining a regular sleep-and-wake schedule, using the bedroom only for sleeping or sex, and keeping the bedroom dark and free of electronics.

• Get into a state of relaxation. Using relaxation techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation (alternately tensing and releasing muscles) can help reduce anxiety and slow down your thought process as you prepare for sleep.

• Changing negative expectations. If a person has insomnia, they may have a tendency to focus on the fact they can’t fall asleep. By using cognitive behavioral techniques, individuals can try to change negative expectations and build more confidence that they can have a good night’s sleep.

Eight hours of sleep, especially if taking medication is recommended. Sleep is vital to healthy growth and development. It also is necessary to maintain mood and stress level.



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