Children in their teenage years may begin having problems sleeping. There is no "right" amount of sleep for teenagers, as each child's needs are different. But some teenagers have sleep problems that keep them from getting the sleep they need. Some sleep problems go away on their own, while others need medical care.
Some teenagers do not go to bed until late at night and do not fall asleep until early morning. These teenagers are often sleepy in the morning. On the weekends, they often sleep until afternoon. This problem is called delayed sleep-phase syndrome. Drinking more coffee, cola, and other caffeine-filled drinks to stay awake will make this problem worse, not better.
A teenager who begins to have trouble sleeping may worry about it, causing more sleeplessness. Stress can keep the child from getting enough sleep each night.
Sometimes the reason for sleeplessness cannot be found. Your teen's doctor will work with you to find out what is causing the sleep problem. Sometimes tests or sleep studies are necessary. For most children, exercise, a healthy diet, and a good bedtime routine will solve the problem. If you try these changes and your teenager still has sleep problems, your doctor may prescribe medicine or suggest other treatment.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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