Why Do Teens Sleep and Wake Up Late?

If you find that you have to shout your teenager out of sleep in the morning, don’t be so rude! There is a biological reason why your teen might want that extra hour in bed.

If your teenage son or daughter is late for the school bus again, don’t yell at them from the kitchen or complain all day long. Us teenagers’ bodies are built completely differently to that of adults so we have a biological reason as to why we sleep late and wake up late.

There is a certain ‘darkness hormone’ called melatonin that induces sleep in all human beings. As a person beings to grow older, this melatonin’s levels are reduced which is why you might find that old age people may wake up a lot earlier than you’d imagine. This melatonin is like a sleep inducing hormone that releases itself normally at night times. This helps us go to sleep. For any adult, this hormone releases itself at about 10 pm. Unfortunately, for your poor teen, it isn’t so.

Teenagers only release this hormone at about 1 pm at night. This means that even if they try to go to bed, they don’t feel like sleeping until quite late. This then has a knock on effect when they have to wake up in the morning. Think of it as an internal clock. Teenagers’ clocks are set to release melatonin much late but what happens is in the morning, when it’s time to get ready for school, the teenagers’ internal clocks still feel it is night time which is why they struggle to wake up.

A lot of people blame things like the availability of technology in the teenagers’ rooms as a sign of sleeping late and waking up late. Things like TV, gaming consoles, iPods, mobile phones, computers etc are causing your teenager to sleep late but these are just ways that your teen uses to stay awake because he or she can’t go to sleep. It is said that things like these cause the melatonin release to postpone itself but either way, a teen has just a different cardiac rhythm to that of a normal adult. Their sleep cycles are different and their need for sleep is more – up to 9 and a half hours.

So don’t bother blaming your teenager if you find they are sleeping in, they need it because they can’t help it! Preventing it will just lead to a moody teenager. Some schools in America have set the starting time of their classes later so the teens can have a lie in and this has been proved to help them study better and perform better.

Sleep is good, you know, so make sure you don’t lose any sleep over your teenager losing a lot of sleep.

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