With the lockdown, my teen is now sleeping all day, should I be concerned?

The amount of sleep your teen is getting and the regularity of their sleep schedule is most important, so sleeping until the late morning may actually be okay because it fits into your teen’s natural biological drive or circadian rhythm.

Teens have a tendency to want to go to bed later and wake up later because of the way they are biologically programmed. We have “clock genes” in every cell in our bodies that tell us when to be awake and when to be asleep, or when to be active and when to be inactive.

What I’ve been telling my patients is if their teen does not have to get up for school until 9am, let them sleep in. It’s totally fine for a teenager to go to bed at midnight and wake up between 8:30 and 9:30 am, as long as they stay on that schedule and don’t shift their sleep on a weekend. It’s the regularity that’s essential.

So while teens should not be sleeping all day, a later bed time and later wake time are fine, as long as they sleep between 8.5 to 9.5 hours a day. If they have a strong “nappetite,” or are prone to periods of dozing off during the day, then they are either not sleeping on a regular schedule or they may need 9.5 to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Get more sleep tips from Dr. Lewin on this episode of Pandemic Parenting, a Facebook Live event featuring Barbara Harrison.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Lewin Daniel S. Lewin, PhD, DABSM is a pediatric psychologist, sleep specialist, and licensed clinical psychologist. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine and Behavioral Sleep Medicine and is the Associate Director of the Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Director of the Pulmonary Behavioral Medicine Program at Children’s National and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine.

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