Summer is here and the kids probably want to stay up late and sleep as late as possible. But should you let them? Let's see what the doctor says.
Dr. Harneet Walia, a sleep expert at Cleveland Clinic, says parents often wonder what to do with easily irritated teens, and she says the answer lies somewhere in between.
"I think there should be a fine line. They should just be allowed maybe one to two hours of extra sleep that they could go to bed later in the night and wake up later in the morning, but at the same time, they cannot be waking up at noon or so, because it will become very difficult to get back on track when the school starts back," she suggests.
Dr. Walia explains that teenagers require more sleep than the average adult, usually between nine to nine and a half hours a night. She says often times, teens suffer sleep deprivation and it's important for parents to know what the signs and symptoms are because it can have negative health consequences on the teen.
Irritability, impaired concentration, difficulty staying awake and difficulty focusing are all signs of sleep deprivation.
Another concern for sleep deprived teens is the safety hazard that exists when a sleepy teen gets behind the wheel of an automobile.
Dr. Walia says teens who don't get enough shut-eye are more prone to micro-lapses while driving, which can lead to accidents.
To help teens get an adequate amount of sleep, Dr. Walia recommends keeping tabs on their sleep habits by making sure that their electronics are not keeping them up too late at night.
"There should be an electronic time curfew. The kids should not be allowed to have electronics thirty to forty-five minutes before their bedtime because the light from the electronics can really disrupt the sleep; it can prevent them from having a good night's sleep also," she says.
Dr. Walia says it's also important to make sure your teen's room is a sleep-friendly environment; one that is dark and a good sleeping temperature between 68 and 72 degrees.