Teenagers and Poor Sleep Quality: Looks Can Be Deceiving

So often we hear many concerned parents telling us that, "My Lord, our teenager is so lazy! He/she will stay awake until 2:00 AM, and then wants to sleep all day!" For all intents and purposes, this is a reasonable concern. But is it based on fact?

Looking Deeper

First off, adolescents need way more sleep than adults. A normal, healthy teen needs between 10-13 hours of quality sleep to function well on a daily basis. Yet most of them on a school night only get about 6-7 at best.

The mistake most parents make is trying to "force-fit" their own ideas about how and when young adults should sleep.

To be honest, many parents who bring their kids in for sessions are mostly in denial about their own sleep issues as well. They will say things like, "my husband and I do just fine on 5 hours a night" or "when I was a teen, I got up at dawn to deliver the morning news", etc. It's a common tendency to think like this as a parent, but sadly, it completely misses the mark.

Ancient Tribal Living: How Teens Protected Everyone From Harm

For tens of thousands of years, adolescents were genetically engineered by nature to protect the clan from outside attacks from other tribes. Long before the advent of electric lights (and iPads) we were mostly ready for bed just after the sun went down. This was the most vulnerable time for any clan. Under the cover of darkness, opposing tribes would launch midnight raids, which in many instances would threaten the very existence of our parents, spouses and small children.

Hero Adolescents

Mother nature was very crafty when it came to securing our survival. She decided that the best way to protect the tribe was to enlist the strongest of the clan to watch over everyone else while they slept. And no one was more agile than the teens, usually between the ages of 13 and 19 years old.

Equipped with acute hearing and keen night vision, nature would rev these kids up starting at about 8:00 PM, and then make them sleepy about 2:00 0r 3:00 AM. They would sleep late while the rest of the tribe took care of its daily business. This arraignment worked great until of course, the rise of the modern school system. Nightly sleep deprivation is being forced upon our children by this system, with depression and chemical dependency later in life a proven, scientific possibility.

Finding a Pragmatic Balance

The good news is that to a large degree, we can adjust this evolutionary programming to fit our children's present-day needs.

The first, and perhaps most important change that needs to be realized is adolescent sleep quality. Young girls are having the hardest time out of anyone these days. With extreme peer pressure to fit in, coupled with radically changing hormones, teenage-girl anxiety is off the charts in America.

With the boys, it's different. The pressure to get the highest grades, be the toughest and strongest and deal with newfound testosterone surges make sleep quality very hard to come by. And culturally, our boys are taught to 'suck it up' and not complain, especially about being exhausted.

How Sleep Recovery Can Help

Primary care doctors and pediatricians mean well, but most are only trained to delve out anti-anxiety meds like Xanax and Klonopin to try to quell teenage anxiety and stabilize sleep. Most parents are rightfully horrified at the thought of this. It's heartbreaking as a parent to be caught in this catch 22 trap, between watching your child suffer, and feeling forced to put them on anxiety medications.

New Found Hope is Here

Here at Sleep Recovery, our stabilization protocol using advanced neurofeedback has proven itself as a safe, non-invasive means to rapidly and effectively reduce teenage anxiety and improve sleep quality, without the use of any medications or talk therapy whatsoever. We are also pleased to announce that The American Academy of Pediatric Physicians considers brainwave biofeedback to be the first-line approach before the use of Adderall and Strattera for ADHD in kids.

Sessions are Simple: Compliance is Even Simpler

Teens are curious by nature. So when they're asked if they'd like to see their own brain in action, the excitement is obvious. And unlike talk therapy, they can read a book, do some homework or play on their phones during the session if they'd like. Having to concentrate or focus on a video screen is not necessary for them to achieve great results.

After 15 sessions, your teen will be feeling better; with less anxiety, and its at this point they will be starting to notice better quality sleep, as well as waking up more rested in the mornings.

Some Additional Benefits Seen in Our Teenage Client Population:

  1. Better academic performance: (as a result of improved sleep quality and memory recall).

  2. Improved mood and temperament: (A sleepy teen is a grumpy teen. Attitude and sleep are inextricably linked).

  3. Better attention skills: (ADHD and poor sleep are scientifically linked as well).

  4. Considerably better-listening skills.

  5. More mature, thoughtful and happy. (A well-rested young brain is a happy brain).


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