If your teen wants to stay up all night and sleep all day, don’t blame them -- blame biology. The body’s circadian rhythm, its natural internal clock, begins to change as individuals enter into the teen years. The hormone melatonin, which helps people to feel sleepy, starts being released later at night as they mature. This makes it harder for teens to get to sleep at an early hour -- and harder to get up on time for school!
Other demands in a teenager’s life, such as academic stress, extracurricular activities, and the pressure to fit in socially can also affect their ability to fall asleep.
The Importance of Teen Sleep
Everybody needs a good night’s rest, but sleep for teenagers is crucial. Their bodies and brains are developing rapidly. They actually need more sleep than they did when they were younger.
In fact, Johns Hopkins pediatrician Michael Crocetti, M.D., M.P.H. reports that teens need at least 9 hours every night -- and more is better!
Failure to get enough sleep has real and noticeable consequences. The effect of sleep deprivation for teenagers include:
A lack of sleep creates a vicious circle for teens that impacts their mental wellbeing, school performance, self-esteem, and social life.
What Can a Parent Do?
There are several steps that a parent can take to help their teen get the rest they need. Work with your teens to create a tranquil bedroom space that includes a comfortable mattress and a bed that’s set up for sleep, not for charging and storing electronic devices.
Other suggestions include:
Consider that your child’s need for supportive sleep products will change as they grow into adulthood. For this reason, a bed and/or mattress upgrade may be in order.
What Can a Teen Do?
Understanding that your child’s new sleep habits are partly out of their control will help to provide some insight on -- and some solutions for -- your sleepy teenager.