The good news is, even if your teen’s sleep habits are all over the place, it is possible to get his internal body clock back on track.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, "Sleep is, in essence, food for the brain. And insufficient sleep can be harmful, even life-threatening." So even if you read that and think your child is fine, that he's getting enough sleep, you could be mistaken. According to a study published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, "Ninety-two percent of teens aren't getting enough sleep each night."
So what qualifies as enough? The National Sleep Foundation strongly suggests that teens need nine hours of shut-eye each night with eight hours borderlining on poor.
Where does your child fall on this scale? Is he in the 8 percent of teens getting nine or more hours? Not likely.
Turns out, your teen's body clock is at least part of the blame. According to a research report published by the National Sleep Foundation and the Sleep and Teen's Task Force, adolescent's sleep patterns undergo a phase delay for both sleeping and waking. Studies show that the typical high school student's natural time to fall asleep is 11 p.m. or later.
Plus, if your teen isn't going to sleep and waking at the same time each day (including Saturday and Sunday), his irregular sleep schedules can contribute to having trouble falling asleep and waking, and fragmented, poor quality sleep.
So what are the negative consequences of your son or daughter not getting at least nine hours of sleep per night? According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens who don't get enough sleep:
Dr. Frank Coletta, co-director, Pulmonary Medicine & Respiratory Therapy and director of South Nassau Communities Hospital's Sleep Medicine Center suggests:
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