Case of the month: Teenagers with insomnia

During the summer the teens had no problems sleeping.  Now it is time to return to school. The teens are having a difficult time falling asleep and that makes waking up for school a struggle.  What could this be? Otherwise their sleep is normal.

Well mind you my comments are based solely on a conversation with the mom.  The most common explanation for this is a condition called delayed sleep phase syndrome.  According to the National Sleep Foundation website:

"Delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD), officially called circadian rhythm sleep disorder, delayed sleep phase type, is an inability to fall asleep at a desired, conventional clock time and awaken at a socially acceptable morning time. When allowed to choose their preferred sleep schedule, patients exhibit sleep of normal quality and duration for their age and maintain a stable but delayed relationship of entrainment to the 24-hour, sleep-wake pattern."

This is bitlink to the national sleep foundation web page with information about DSPS.

Unless contraindicated I like to rapidly  reset the biological clock over a weekend.  I suggest parents invite friends for a sleep over on Friday night.  On Saturday keep you teen engaged so she/he cannot take naps.  Then have your teen go to bed at the desired bedtime on Saturday night.

 If you choose to try this make sure your teen is safe, for example no driving, no participation in potentially dangerous activities and talk to your pediatrician before you start.  If this does not help, you may need to see a sleep specialist.

This blog is not  medical advise. The blog is for information only and may give you suggestions to share with your primary care provider.