Teen Sleep

SleepUnderstand what’s going on with your teen that’s creating that Sleep Zombie:

Dr. Michael J. Breus: Does Your Teen Sleep Like a Zombie? Theres a Reason for That.

Puberty and hormonal changes actually create fluctuations in our teenagers circadian rhythms. Their body clocks change and get out of whack, and it’s a natural part of the maturation process.

But their are also environmental factors that make these changes worse. Of particular importance, and something that parents CAN actually control, is the influence of light on the body’s circadian rhythms and that means computer and other electronic screens. The light emitted by these screens in the evening and at night, when the body clock is trying to promote sleep, disrupts that natural function.

There are a whole host of factors making proper sleep rhythms difficult for our teens: early school start times, full schedules that push homework into the evening hours. These all make getting them to bed at a reasonable enough hour to get the sleep they need difficult.

But keeping the electronic devices OUT of the bedroom is at least one thing you can do to promote better sleep for your teen. Even better- set an ‘electronic curfew’ prior to the set bedtime.

Exercise also helps regulate that body clock, as does exposure to sunlight, especially early in the day.

Sufficient sleep for teens has been shown to reduce the risk of academic and behavioral problems in teens, and even health problems in adulthood. It’s definitely worth trying to help them get enough.


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