Teenage sleeping problems are quite common. And it's not unknown for teenagers to sleep in the morning or until midday. It's not that your teenager is turning into a lazy sleepy head. It's because their bodies are still developing and undergoing changes.
You see, in late puberty the teenage body secretes the hormone melatonin later than in an adult body. And this changes the sleep-wake cycle. So when an adult is winding down in an evening and wanting to go to bed at 10pm a teenager is still wide awake.
Then there is the difference in sleep requirements. Adults need 8 1/4 ours. Children need 10 hours.9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep. Adolescents need 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep.
A good sleeping pattern balances hormonal shifts in the endocrine system. This additional sleep also reduces frustration levels that are often at the root of poor teen behavior.
So how does a lack of Sleep Affect the Teenager?
Well, when the teenager does not get enough sleep it can make it difficult for sleep deprived students to learn. And teenagers find it difficult to deal with stress and control their emotions. That's why mood swings, irritability and lack of self confidence are common in a teen who's not getting enough sleep.
What can a teenager do to get enough sleep?
There are some good sleeping habits teens can adopt to get enough sleep.
First they should avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. Especially in the afternoon. Also alcohol should be avoided as this disruptions a sleeping pattern.
Second, teenagers should avoid computer games or serious studying directly before bedtime. Doing these activities can make the brain hyper active at a time when the brain needs to slow down.
Third, turn off all possible distractions such as televisions, computers and mobile phones.
Fourth, let teenagers sleep in at the weekend. This allows them to get enough sleep. However do not let them sleep in more than 2-3 hours as this could disrupt their body clock.
Finally, encourage your teenager to exercise regularly. If your teenager is working out running around or playing a sport then they're naturally tire. And they're more likely to get sleep without any trouble. You'll also be teaching your teenager good habits in living an optimal lifestyle.
You should also keep an eye on your teenager's school work or study workload. If they're working very hard then you may need to make an appointment with their teachers to discuss ways of spreading their work out.