On Shots today, a group of sleep experts addressed NPR listeners' questions about teens and sleep. I found the first question, and the answer from George Washington University neurologist Helene Emsellem, MD, among the most interesting:
I have two teens who have difficulty sleeping, and I worry that they have developed bad sleep habits they might never grow out of. Should they take sleep meds?
EMSELLEM: One of most important things to understand is that the changes in biological rhythms are not changeable with a drug. If an adolescent's biological clock says they won't get sleepy until midnight, a sleeping pill may do absolutely nothing. It could also complicate matters by leaving them hung over the next day. The best you can do is regiment a routine and give them a comfortable sleep environment.
Previously: The mystery of sleep, Sleep deprivation may increase young adults' risk of mental distress, obesity, Districts pushing back bells for the sake of teens' sleep and Lack of sleep may be harmful to a teen's well-being
Photo by Bryan Gosline