When you are a parent of a teenager who requires an atomic explosion to get out of bed, you might not have a whole lot of sympathy for the sleep plight of teens. You might think they should just go to bed earlier, and then they would surely pop out of bed, bright-eyed and ready to do everything they need to in order to get accepted into a prestigious university. In fact, teenagers aren’t necessarily at fault for their propensity for staying up late and sleeping in late. Your Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, offers you some myths and facts about teenage sleep patterns.
Teenagers and Sleep: Myth or Fact?
Q1. Myth or fact – Teenagers need more sleep than adults.
Q2. Myth or fact – High-schools start early because teenagers are at their sharpest in the early morning hours.
Q3. Myth or fact – Teenagers do not get obstructive sleep apnea.
A1. FACT – Teens actually need 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep to fully function. The concept of eight hours of sleep as a perfect number has been debunked over the years. Everyone is wired a little bit differently, so some people might need more sleep, and some might be fine with less. On average, however, teenagers need a good hour or so more than their parents.
A2. MYTH – Many teens experience a huge sleep deficit during the school year, because their circadian rhythms and melatonin production times have naturally altered. Teens are essentially wired to burn the midnight oil, and sleep in past breakfast. Schools starting after lunch and ending after dinner might never happen, but most teenagers would probably thrive a bit better with that sort of schedule.
A3. MYTH – Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is not terribly common in teens, but it does happen. The struggle to maintain a healthy weight is no longer a burden reserved mostly for the middle-aged. Obesity has become more prevalent in children and teens, and so the issues that are linked to obesity are on the rise. OSA is not reserved for overweight people, however. Teenagers that have enlarged adenoids or tonsils are also at higher risk. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to hundreds of episodes of sudden, sometimes panicked arousal from sleep. Airways become blocked by tissues in the throat and neck, leading to snoring, night sweats, and labored breathing. All of these symptoms can make for a very restless night of sleep, and make it even more challenging for a teenager to wake up early for school the next morning.
Sleep Apnea Help from Farmington Hills Dentist
Sleep apnea disrupts the body’s harmonious functions and may contribute to a myriad of other health problems. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, contact your Farmington Hills dentist at (248) 474-6434 to schedule an appointment at our 48335 dental office. We serve patients from Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Livonia, Westland, Northville, and the surrounding Detroit areas.