March 26, 2013 —

Every month, we’re keeping you informed on the latest studies and research in our “Not My Teen” blog series. Today, we’re looking at teenage boys sleeping patterns and how to identify the cause of their restlessness.

Parents, did you know there are biological reasons for why your teenage son sleeps the hours that he does? According to Dr. Nancy Synderman, chief medical editor for NBC News, teenage boys are biologically programed to stay up late and sleep in later. Historically, young men stayed up late and surrounded their villages to protect the elders of their society, but that is no longer how we operate in the modern world. Instead, Dr. Synderman attributed teen’s abnormal sleeping patterns to teens propensity to use electronics like phones, computers iPads and watching television late at night, which leaves teens feeling wired and awake.

However, for parents it’s important to be observant and proactive in talking to your teen about their behaviors. Unusual or erratic sleep habits could also be a sign of a more serious issue such as alcohol or substance abuse, which includes the abuse of legal substances such as prescription drugs or over-the-counter cough medicines. Educate yourself on the warning signs of substance abuse to ensure it does not go unnoticed in your home and use these tips for talking to your teen.