When it comes to sleep, teens are vulnerable to delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS).
This is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, meaning that it affects the body's internal clock. DSPS is also known as delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD).
In my previous articles on teen sleep— Get Some Sleep Teen, 16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation Part 1, and 16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation Part 2 —I did not get into this important topic. That's because only about 7% of teens have DSPS.
However, it is crucial for parents and teens to be aware of it.
DSPS is a type of sleep disorder where, biologically, the teen has difficulty falling asleep until the wee hours of the morning. They then have great difficulty getting up early in the morning and are not fully awake until the afternoon.
The cause of DSPS is not known, although there appears to be a genetic factor. So it's important for parents to understand that a teen with DSPS is not at fault for not being able to get to sleep earlier.
For example, a teen with delayed sleep phase syndrome might desire to fall asleep at 10 with the hope of waking refreshed in the morning. However, they may have an internal sleep cycle that prevents them from becoming sleepy until much later.
While everyone else in the family is winding down at 9 or 10 p.m. to get some sleep, teens with DSPS are winding up. They can easily zoom past the midnight hour to 1 or 2 a.m. before even having an inkling of dozing off.
Then getting up in the morning for school takes an act of Congress.
The problem though, as I pointed out in Get Some Sleep Teen, 16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation Part 1, and 16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation Part 2 is that school start times are very early in the morning.
So this completely derails a teen's natural sleep cycle, and can open up a hornet's nest of trouble in a teen's health and life.
Even in teens without delayed sleep phase syndrome, there is an evening delay in the sleep pattern, where most teens aren't sleepy until after 11 p.m. It's just much more extreme in teens with DSPS.
Here's another thing. Unlike the 93% of teens who don't have DSPS, the 7% of teens with DSPS may never outgrow it for the rest of their lives. Extreme night owls forever.
But that’s okay because...
The key for adults with DSPS is to find a way to make a living doing something they enjoy, that allows them to go to bed late and get up at noon.
I've written an informative article about how to do that. You can work for yourself and have a lot of fun doing it.
You'll no longer have to live your life on someone else's schedule. Now that's freedom!
So if you're an adult with delayed sleep phase syndrome, click here to read Best Business to Start for Funding Your Retirement Years and Financial Freedom.
Awareness is always the first place to start. So now that you've read this article, you're at least aware of this type of sleep disorder in teens. Here are the main things to look for:
Sleep Experts Sound the Alarm: Get Some Sleep Teen!
16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation
16 Dangers of Teen Sleep Deprivation Part 2
Teenage Sleep: 8 Steps to Restful Nights Part 1
Teenage Sleep: 8 Steps to Restful Nights Part 2
Return from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome to Sleep Disorders Home Page
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