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Sign: Change in Sleeping Habits

“My daughter sleeps 12 hours a night. Then she looks like a walking zombie for at least the first couple of hours she is up. I have to drag her out of bed in the morning to make her go to school. She sleeps in the afternoon when she comes home, sometimes right through the night. Is she depressed? She says she’s fine and that she just needs a lot of sleep.”

Teens do tend to need more sleep. Sudden growth spurts and hormonal changes can increase their need for sleep. However, if these changes seem extreme and have odd patterns (e.g., after Saturday night parties they need to sleep until 2 pm the next day), look more closely at the issue. Sleeping through school hours is another sign that there is a larger problem. If your child is sleeping instead of going to school or spending time with family and friends, depression can also be a possible issue.

If your teen cannot sleep and seems oddly “up” all the time, this can be a sign of stimulant abuse. Be sure to rule out bipolar disorders if you see no other signs of drug use.