Normal Sleep Changes vs. Depression or Anxiety in Adolescence

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Sleep Changes vs. Depression or Anxiety in Adolescence

Our sleep needs remain pretty high through childhood and adolescence, which gets more and more challenging when adolescence arrives.

There are some changes to sleep patterns that are associated with development in adolescence.

Most adolescents have a tendency to be night owls – their brains want them to stay up late and sleep late in the morning.

The challenge with this natural tendency is the fact that most schools start well before their brain is ready for wakefulness, so they can start the school day in a state of jet lag.

Furthermore, they may sleep in on the weekends, which actually worsens this tendency.

Anyone who is sleep deprived is vulnerable to mood problems, so the first way to tell whether it is a deeper issue is to try to make sure that they aren’t sleep deprived.

Aim for a period of two weeks with consistent sleep schedule and at least a 9-hour opportunity to sleep each night.

You should be concerned if they report that they cannot fall asleep at night or sleep through much of their weekend – these are more significant indicators of psychological struggles.

For more sleep tips and tricks, check out other videos in our Psych in 60 series. If you have a question for Dr. Daley, tell us in the comment section below!

Click here for more content by Dr. Kristin Daley!

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