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Teenage Sleep Patterns - Topic Overview

Getting enough sleep and rest is important during the teen years. Teens need more sleep than younger children, because rapid physical growth and activity during the teen years can cause fatigue. Many teenagers sleep late whenever possible and often have problems getting up in the morning.

Teenagers' biological clocks change during puberty. Typically, adolescents and teens fall asleep at a later hour at night and tend to sleep later in the morning. This pattern can present problems, because school schedules often require that teens get up early for classes. Some teens may develop sleep deprivation, which can result in:

  • Having problems getting up in the morning or falling asleep during the day.
  • Being sleepy and irritable during the day.

Teenagers need about 10 hours of sleep each night. If your teen is showing signs of not getting enough sleep, you can:

  • Talk about how your teen's body is changing, and explain the need for more sleep.
  • Try to set a good sleeping pattern for your teen. Encourage your teen to finish homework on weekends or during the day. And encourage him or her to sleep in on the weekends.
  • Suggest after-school naps.
  • Help your teen have a quiet bedroom. Turn off the computer, TV, cell phones, and other media.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: February 28, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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