Why Does Your Teenager Sleep So Much?

Parents have been asking this question forever. But according to Dr. Neil Stanley, there is a reason!


Teenagers need more sleep than adults because of the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty. Teenagers also genuinely need to go to sleep later than adults – there is an actual shift in their biological rhythm! However, the shift is maximally about 2 hours, so a teenager should go to bed around 11:00-11:30 p.m. and sleep for 9-9.5 hours.  While this is not an excuse to sleep until noon, it may be the reason your teen does not want to get out of bed before 9 a.m.

Not surprisingly, most teens do not get enough sleep, with only 15% reporting sleeping more than 8.5 hours on school nights. This lack of sleep can lead to reduced academic and athletic performance; increased anger and sadness; poor control of emotions and behavior and increased risk of car accidents. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to improve teenage sleeping habits. Here’s what they should be doing:

  • An hour before bed, relax. Shower, read a book (a school book doesn’t count!) or spend time with family.
  • Limit exciting activities 1-2 hours before bedtime. That means no watching episodes of “24” late at night!
  • Limit light an hour before bed, including TV, cell phones, computers and iPads… no late-night texting!
  • Raise the shades to rise and shine. Sunlight in the morning helps awaken the body and mind.

Join us for Sleep Myths: Debunking cultural perceptions of sleep & the secrets to a great night of sleep at any age! on Friday, February 28, 2014 at A. Perry Homes. The event, featuring sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley, begins at 2:00 p.m. hosted by Make It Better and Chicago Luxury Beds at the A. Perry Homes showroom at 564 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka. Space is limited, RSVP here.


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