It’s so common that it’s almost a cliche. Teenagers don’t get enough sleep. Between busy social lives (texting at all hours of the night), recreation (video games and television) and school work (hopefully it doesn’t come last on your teen’s list like it did on this one), it’s hard to imagine when they actually have time to sleep. But, is your teenager sleep deprived, or just a little tired? Unfortunately, with the hormones raging within teenaged bodies, it’s sometimes very hard to tell. Let’s look at some of the signs of sleep deprivation, and see why diagnosing it can be a problem in teens:
So, given that the signs of sleep deprivation are often also the signs of being a teenager, how can you tell if a teenager is sleep deprived? What it comes down to as a parent is to know your child. Pay attention to what time he or she is going to sleep, not what time they close the bedroom door or even turn out the light, because nighttime texting is rather common. Teens need more sleep than adults because their bodies are working so hard to become adults. If a teenager is going to bed at a reasonable hour but still seems unusually tired, it’s a good idea to check for allergies that might be reducing sleep quality. Additionally, anyone who is sleeping the proper amount of time but still wakes up tired should be considered a candidate for sleep apnea.