Teenage son's sleep routine

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by Guest Posts on Mon May 17, 2021 3:27 pm

Teenage son's sleep routine

My teenager (15) doesn’t go to sleep until at least 1am in the morning and insists that he cant sleep if he goes to bed earlier… I am very worried about his lack of sleep. Its so hard to wake him up in the morning and at the weekend he sleeps until lunch time and impossible to get him up any earlier. I do feel he should catch up on his sleep so I leave him – but should I?
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lisaartis
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by lisaartis on Thu May 20, 2021 8:58 am

Re: Teenage son's sleep routine

Thanks for your question.

It's not uncommon to find that teenagers don't want to go to sleep until later. When they hit adolescence changes happen in the brain. It develops, and hormones are changing. They are biologically more likely to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin, later at night meaning they don’t feel sleepy until the early hours - they can't help that. For a period of time this shifts their natural circadian rhythm making it out of sync. This means they may struggle with falling asleep at an appropriate hour, need lengthy lie-ins at the weekend and find it harder to wake up in the morning. This impacts on how they feel the next day- tired!

The problem with leaving him to sleep in at weekends is that it continues to push his body clock on. For instance if he doesn't wake up until lunchtime at a weekend, he won't build up enough sleep pressure during the day to go to bed at a reasonable hour, meaning he will go to bed later still. This can then lead to something called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.

Trying to keep to a regular bedtime and wake up time will really help to strengthen his internal body clock.

We have a great resource https://teensleephub.org.uk/ for teens. They can download the free eBook and it explains to them more about sleep and why they don't feel sleepy. You may find the website useful too.

Hope that helps.
Lisa Artis
Head of The Sleep Council

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... _artis.php

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