How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need
Teens often need more sleep than they get. The average teenager needs a minimum of eight and a half to ten hours of sleep per night.
Changing Sleep Patterns
According to sleep studies performed at Stanford University, teenagers appear to actually have different sleep patterns from children or adults. Their internal biological clock is reset. They fall asleep later, they sleep later into the day.
The question then becomes, why do adolescent sleep patterns change?
Some studies indicate that one of the reasons for the change in adolescent sleep patterns is that their bodies produce melatonin later into the night than a person does in childhood or adulthood. Melatonin is a hormone produced for the brain that actually flips the mental sleeping switch.
Being at school by seven-thirty or eight each morning after being up until midnight may also contribute to a broken sleep pattern for adolescents. A missed hour or two here and there is not a big deal, but persistent sleep deficits over time can lead to extreme fatigue.
The Need for Sleep
Adolescents who suffer from persistent sleep deficits may experience a lack of concentration, slow response times and emotional difficulties with family and peers. While parents may urge their teens to just go to bed earlier, if their brains are not producing the hormone they need to sleep it may be more a biological issue than a behavioral one. So what are parents to do?
Sleeping on the Go
Recognize that adolescents, like their younger selves, still require at least eight and a half hours of sleep a night. If that means sleeping later then as often as that can be accommodated, it should be. While school hours seem to be starting earlier and earlier, it may be necessary to discuss the use of a melatonin supplement with your teenager's doctor. The supplement could help them get to sleep earlier at night and reduce overall fatigue.
Sleeping like a Baby
How much sleep do teenagers need? Often more than they are getting. If melatonin is an answer for your teen, you may notice an upswing in their grades, a better overall mood and feelings of success. Helping your teenager sleep, naturally, is the best solution to extreme fatigue. There's enough going on when you're a teenager, eliminate exhaustion if you can.
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