Things to Know About Your Kids’ Sleep Habits

Did you know that youngsters need more sleep than adults?  Stanford University has interesting information on this topic.Young boy peacefully sleeping.

Adolescent sleep is a very popular subject. People wonder if it’s true that their teenage sons and daughters may need more sleep than they got as children, or whether their kids are choosing to turn into lazy, sleepy young adults.

Sometime in late puberty, the body secretes the sleep-related hormone melatonin at a different time than during the rest of life. This changes the circadian rhythms that guide a person’s sleep-wake cycle. For instance, if you told your teen to go to bed at 10 p.m., she may end up staring at the ceiling until 1 or 2 a.m. waiting to fall asleep.

At about 7:30 p.m. a teen feels wide awake and fully alert, unlike an adult who is starting to “wind down” and feel sleepier as the evening progresses so that at 10 p.m. the adult is ready to go to bed. The teenagers’ “wind down” time takes place much later.

Studies show that the changes taking place in teenage bodies require more sleep and they may be physically challenged to getting up early in the morning. Their internal biological clock may slow down in adolescence. That can account for their not being sleepy until 2 a.m.

Parents don’t have to necessarily worry that their child, who once awoke at the crack of dawn and was eager to get up early even on weekend mornings but who is now a sleepy young adult who wouldn’t wake up if a bomb went off, is trying to undermine their authority in some way.

What does the bible say about rest? “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 (NIV)