Press Release - Teens: Don’t Lose Sleep Over Going Back To School

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Press Release

Anxiety Canada releases new tips and tools to help youth ‘Make Sleep Count.’

Vancouver, BC – Anxiety Canada™ is pleased to announce the launch of new content to its youth webpages and popular MindShift App. “Mak ing Sleep Count” is the non-profit organization’s newest enhanced content. The youth-targeted tools have been unveiled in time for students to get plenty of sound sleeping tips before they head back to school in the fall. The resources include informative facts, behaviours that help with sleep, things that interfere with sleep, and ideas for helpful self-talk around slumber. Along with the sleep-related tools, Anxiety Canada has also added “Riding Out I ntense Emotions” to help youth who are struggling with overwhelming emotions and unproductive or unhealthy ways of coping.

“Going back to school may trigger overwhelming emotions such as anxiety, in some youth,” says Judith Law, Executive Director of Anxiety Canada. “Sleep deprivation may be a symptom of these anxious emotions and the resulting worry about not sleeping then fuels further anxiety. You can end up in a vicious cycle that leaves the young person feeling tired but wired.”

Studies have shown that adolescents have a different internal clock than adults, which means they stay awake later and wake up later. Youth require nine to nine-and-a-half hours of sleep a night for optimal memory, concentration, energy levels and healthy stress management, but many don’t get the recommended hours. “Unfortunately, many of the things youth do to compensate for not getting the sleep they need, such as drinking coffee or energy drinks, and taking naps, actually interfere with sleeping patterns,” says Law.

In language geared to youth, the site and app discuss behaviours that interfere with sleep, such not sticking to a routine, drinking alcohol or smoking, and even fretting about not sleeping. Of particular importance in our digital age is setting the stage by turning off all electronics a half-hour before bed and using our bed for sleeping only.

For youth who can’t sleep, Anxiety Canada recommends utilizing some helpful self-talk or getting up and doing something relaxing, such as listening to soothing music, instead of staying in bed and worrying. “The message is to not get overly worried about not sleeping,” says Law. “Helpful self-talk might be to remind yourself that if I don’t sleep well tonight, I’ll most likely sleep well tomorrow. It’s normal not to sleep well all the time.”

Anxiety Canada’s online strategies have been developed to give them tools they can use to help themselves to “ride out” or “dial down” anxiety and to adopt healthy habits for better sleep.

About Anxiety Canada

The Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia (Anxiety Canada™) is a non profit organization which was started in 1999 to increase awareness about anxiety disorders; promote education of the general public, affected persons, and health care providers; and increase access to evidence-based resources and treatments. Anxiety Canada’s programs are focused on increasing awareness and promoting education and evidence- based treatments related to anxiety disorders. For more information about Anxiety Canada, please visit www.anxietycanada.com/.

For more information and interviews contact: Judith Law, Executive Director, Anxiety Canada

(604) 620 0744/0743 or jlaw@anxietycanada.com

Dr. Melanie Badali, Registered Psychologist & Anxiety Canada Board Director

(604) 339-4664 or melanie.badali@gmail.com