So this is interesting. My teenage daughter always complains, when I try to get her to go to bed around 9:30-10pm, that she just can not fall asleep. She would always tell me, that even getting to bed early, she still only falls asleep around 11pm. I had very hard time believing this, as she has to get up for school at 6am. So by 9-10pm in my opinion she should be in bed getting her much needed rest.
I just came across this article at National Sleep Foundation website – Sleep Drive and Your Body Clock. It makes some interesting comments about a shift in adolescence circadian rhythm.
This one was an immediate reminder of conversations I have with my daughter, trying to convince her to meditate, or do some breathing technic to fall asleep faster. And while they do help her to come down and relax, she still rarely falls asleep before 11pm.
Changes to this circadian rhythm occur during adolescence, when most teens experience a sleep phase delay. This shift in teens’ circadian rhythm causes them to naturally feel alert later at night, making it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11:00 pm. Since most teens wake up early for school and other commitments, this sleep phase delay can make it difficult to get the sleep teens need — an average of 9 1/4 hours, but at least 8 1/2 hours. This sleep deprivation can influence the circadian rhythm; for teens the strongest circadian “dips” tend to occur between 3:00-7:00 am and 2:00-5:00 pm, but the morning dip (3:00-7:00 am) can be even longer if teens haven’t had enough sleep, and can even last until 9:00 or 10:00 am.
In teenagers, research has shown that melatonin levels in the blood naturally rise later at night than in most children and adults. Since teens may have difficulty going to bed early to get enough sleep, it can help to keep the lights dim at night as bedtime approaches. It can also help to get into bright light as soon as possible in the morning.
Now we will have to work on getting rid of electronics by 10pm, dimming light and maybe just reading a book. And at 6am – bright lights! Let the sunshine in! Wake up to a new beautiful day!
Oh….she is gonna hate me for this!
She still will not get enough sleep on the school days 😦 I guess we will just have to try to compensate on the weekends.
To your health,