Teenagers Are Simply Wired for Extra Sleep

Teen AsleepIf you are the parent of a teenager, you probably gear up for battle every week morning. When the alarm goes off, you know you better take a few deep breaths to prepare for several rounds of “come on; time to get up!” If left to their own devices, most teens gravitate towards staying awake until the sun comes up and sleeping in until the sun goes down. Teenagers need 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep every night to function at their best. Many teens operate under a huge sleep deficit because of the schedule they’re forced to keep during school months. Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds understands why burning the midnight oil and sleeping through breakfast is attractive to teenagers. But could your tired teen have another reason for their exhaustion?

Natural Night Owls

In order for a teenager to feel properly rested with the typical high-school schedule, they would need to stick to a bedtime of around 9pm. Not very many teens are going to voluntarily hit the hay that early. It isn’t all about keeping up with their peers. Circadian rhythms change in the teen years. Melatonin is the natural sleep hormone that makes you tired, and prime production happens later as the teen years approach. Staying up to text with friends isn’t necessarily all about social gains for your teen. They may not be able to fall asleep at 9pm even if they tried.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Teens

If your teen is extremely tired during the day even when they seem to achieve an appropriate amount of sleep, there could be a cause that Dr. Burds can help you with. Obstructive sleep apnea is not incredibly common amongst teenagers, but it certainly can occur. Obesity is sometimes linked to OSA, but sleep apnea can also result from enlarged adenoids or tonsils in young people. Obstructive sleep apnea leads to hundreds of episodes of sudden arousal from sleep due to blockage of airways. Some of the symptoms of OSA include night sweats, labored breathing, and extreme snoring. Pay attention if your teenager tells you their sleep is not satisfying or they feel like they wake up throughout the night in a stressed state. Mouthguards are sometimes the perfect solution to OSA.

Des Moines Dentist Can Help Treat OSA

If you have OSA concerns, schedule a consultation with your 50309 dental office by calling your Des Moines dentist at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.