Is every teenager a night owl ?
Teen stereotypes such as staying up late, then sleeping most of the day are well-worn. (And you may recognize it.) But what’s the reason?
Most teenagers need between eight and ten hours of sleep to function at their best. And when schedules are packed with school, sports, clubs, friends, and jobs, the only time they have to unwind is late at night, when the family is in bed and the house is theirs.
As well as older children, younger children require sleep.
When it comes to sleep, children between the ages of 3 and 5 need 10 to 13 hours every night to stay healthy and alert. However, what happens when issues like bedwetting, sleep terrors, and sleepwalking interfere? Treatment can turn fitful nights into tranquil ones. “Seeing a child blossom once their sleep issues are resolved is a beautiful thing,” says a pediatric neurologist. She shares how to help a little one get their rest (so you can, too).
Teenagers’ tendency to become night owls is partly biological. Their bodies take longer to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps promote sleep. As a result, teenagers just don’t become tired until later in the evening. By then, it’s too late to get the sleep they need and make it to school on time.
Lack of sleep can make it hard to focus, or even stay awake in class. Napping might be the first priority when they get home, which may make it tough to fall asleep later.
You can help them change the cycle. A few tips can make it easier for your teen (or anyone) to fall asleep:
- Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
- Don’t do homework, play video games or use a smartphone in bed.
- Don’t drink energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages after mid-afternoon.
- Limit screen time before bed.
It is recommended that teenagers get up within two to four hours of their usual wake time on weekends. So yes, getting up by lunchtime is fair. And maybe, in a few years, they’ll even agree with you.