You can’t get your teen to roll out of bed before noon on the weekends and every weekday involves an evening nap. Are they just using sleep as an excuse to avoid family time, or what gives? According to Dr. Harris, “the body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm) shifts to a later sleep and wake time during the early teenage years, and this natural change in their circadian rhythm means that teens are more likely to go to bed later in the evening and wake up later in the day.” In other words, your kid’s 1 a.m. bedtime and 10 a.m. wakeup time may be annoying for your weekend plans but is totally normal. However, it’s worth noting that if your teen is routinely getting more than 10 hours of sleep on the weekend and/or taking long or frequent naps, it’s likely a sign that they are trying to catch up on lost sleep, which is often the result of “early school start times, sports, after school activities, friends, and work causing teens to miss out on quality sleep during the week,” explains Dr. Harris.
That said, Dr. Harris emphasizes that parents should seek help from a sleep specialist if they notice that their teen’s sleep habits are interfering with their ability to get to activities on time (or at all), causing their personal care habits to slip, or making it difficult for them to get to bed at a reasonable hour on Sunday (or any other) night and readjust to the school schedule. Roger that.