Information On Sleep Disorders Among Teenagers

by : Suzyhughes

There are sleep disorders among teenagers that affects between seven to ten percent of teenagers called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, also known as DNS. Most teenagers outgrow this disorder by the time they reach young adulthood. Less then one percent of adults are believed to have DSP. Often people mistake sleep disorder for insomnia.

People with delayed sleep phase disorder if left on their own, would stay up until very late, sometimes until 4 or 5 a.m. Frequently they are referred to as night owls because they like to get up very late in the morning or early afternoon.

The natural delay in the circadian sleep / wake rhythm of many teenagers' age of development may be the reason they like to stay up late and sleep late in the morning. Sometimes this is because they would like to socialize at that time of the day.

Sleep disorders among teenagers most of the time make the teenagers real tired on the day and they may even fall asleep in the classroom. The definite cause of this sleep disorder is not known but It is known for certain that it is a circadian rhythm problem. The sleep disorders symptoms that you may notice are when teenagers frequently have a really hard time getting up in the morning for school. Though, they go to sleep at a regular time, such as 11 p.m., they still toss and turn for hours like an individual with insomnia. The difference is, unlike an insomniac, people with delayed sleep phase disorder have no difficulty staying asleep but they do have a very difficult time getting up early in the morning.

Sleep disorder treatments are available for people that need to get onto a more traditional sleep / wake schedule. The types of treatment include, bright light, chronotherapy, melatonin and over- the-counter prescribed sleeping pills.

The bright light treatment for delayed sleep phase disorder is one form of sleep disorder treatments which uses bright light to trick the brain's circadian clock . Exposed to bright light shifts the circadian rhythm, if it is distributed within a couple of hours of the body's lowest temperature at night.

Chronotherapy has been used as sleep disorder treatments for someone with delayed sleep phase disorder requires a block of time one week long. Each day bedtime is delayed by three hours successively. For instance, for someone that falls asleep at 2 a.m. but wants to fall asleep at 11. p.m., their bedtime would move to 5 a.m. on the first day. The next day it would move to 8 a.m. and continue this cycle for a week. Sleep disorders among teenagers can be quite serious where in some cases, teenagers suffering with delayed sleep phase disorder would need a week off from school in order to complete this therapy. Once the desired bed time is reached it is very important to keep a consistent wake up time.

Several drugs have been used as sleep disorder treatments to treat delayed sleep phase disorder. One of them is Melatonin which has been successful in altering the sleep cycle of people with this sleep disorder. While prescription medication such as Ramelteon, and other sleeping pills, have also been successful in addressing teenagers and adults with delayed sleep phase disorder.

If your teenager has difficulty dozing off and all of the time prefer to stay up late, be well aware of the possibleness that a sleep disorder may be present. Parents and teachers had better be informed of sleep disorders among teenagers so that they are more observing with the sleep disorders symptoms and sleep disorder treatments can be sought-after.