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Worried About My Son's "Rock-Star Hours"

by Tim
(Escondido, CA USA)

My 15 year-old son is up until the wee, and not-so-wee hours gaming until 3-4am, and then invariably sleeps until noon or 1pm. He developed this pattern 2-3 years ago during summer vacation. The only problem during the summer is that he misses breakfast, sometimes lunch, and he complains when the "living" disturb his sleep. Hardly unavoidable unless we all become "vampires" like him.

During the school year, these patterns interfere with his studies, his health (I believe), and his attendance (tardiness). I've considered giving him herbs like "Naturemade Sleep" with Melatonin and L-theanine with his dinner (7-8pm) to encourage natural sleepiness at an earlier hour (11pm - midnight), but my son rejected the idea and wouldn't take the capsules. Instead, he would begrudgingly get off the computer at midnight to 1am and maybe...MAYBE dose off by 1:30-2am. I have to get him up by 7:30am if he has any chance of being at school on time (8:15am). During the school year, he operates on between 5.5 and 6.5 hours of sleep. He often catches up with naps for 2 hours in the afternoon, then is "too alert" at midnight to even think about going to sleep. The pattern continues.

My DSPS was drug induced in my post adolescence. My son, as far as I know, is not doing drugs. He is either at school or at home. Not much of a social life. His friends try to get him to do things on the weekend, but when he doesn't even rise until 1-2pm, they are long gone (to the beach, hanging out, etc.) when he finally rises. I dread the beginning of the school year, and besides that, we only have an 8 hour window of time to interface on any level. What's a dad to do?

Consistency in changing his sleep patterns is hard since I and my ex-wife share custody. I have no control over what he does when he's at her house.

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