Daytime Sleepiness in Adolescents

By Christina Elston

Parents and doctors should pay special attention to adolescents who are excessively sleepy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research are warning that the sleepiness could be a sign of a medical or mental health condition.

The two organizations advise parents to let their adolescent's doctor know if their child:

  • has trouble falling asleep at night;
  • feels sleepy a lot during the day;
  • wakes often; and/or
  • snores loudly.

Preteens often stay up late, get up early, and fail to get the nine to 10 hours of sleep they need each night. However, disorders such as depression, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy, as well as medications and caffeine, can also cause impaired sleep quality.

Christina Elston is a writer and editor who specializes in family health issues.