Sleep Care

Sleep In Teens

It has been recommended that adolescents and teenagers receive 8-10 hours of sleep every night. However, a person in this age group is at a higher risk for sleepcycle disruption than members of other age groups. What Can Cause a Sleep Disruption? School – As children reach their teenage years and prepares to enter college more emphasis is put on schoolwork. An increased work load can push back bedtimes, while school start times remain the same. Jobs – Many teenagers work part-time jobs after school for spending money. This activity can limit the amount of time for schoolwork and can delay bedtimes. Social Life – Teens generally become more independent from their parents and wish to spend more time with their friends and to start dating. Parents generally become more lenient on bedtimes and curfews to allow for their child’s social needs. What Do Disruptions Lead To? Excessive Daytime Sleepiness – Teenagers who report busy schedules and late bedtimes may have difficulty staying awake at school, causing lower test scores and behavioral problems. Also, at age 16, many teenagers are receiving their driver’s licenses. Sleepiness and distractions from passengers can lead to motor vehicle accidents. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) – This circadian rhythm disorder is common in teenagers and is characterized by delayed bedtimes and difficulty awakening in the morning. Teenagers who often delay sleep are more prone to develop this syndrome. How Can Sleep Be Improved? Extending sleep time at night can greatly improve symptoms of insufficient sleep. Parents can set curfews and bedtimes that allow their teenagers to receive adequate sleep time. Good sleep hygiene (limiting the amount of caffeine, timing heavy meals eaten hours before bedtime, and promoting an active lifestyle) can greatly improve sleep. Teenagers diagnosed with DSPS may be treated with chronotherapy (delaying bedtimes until an adequate time is reached and then keeping a strict

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light therapy (exposure to cialis 20 mg bright light to shift their sleep and wake times). It has been suggested that sleep aides, which initiate sleep, and stimulant medication, which help one keep alert during the day, can help. However, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine state that there is not enough evidence to suggest these as proper treatments for the disorder.      

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