My eldest has always had trouble sleeping (since birth!) and has generally held a late-onset-style sleep disorder schedule. From age 6 onwards he'd fall asleep at 10 or later, when his peers fell asleep at 7 or 8. For about a year (age 8) he took melatonin, which helped immensely, he slept easily and woke up happy and well-rested. But melatonin suppresses puberty, so we stopped that, his own choice, over a year ago. Now he is up until midnight, having been in bed since 8:30-9pm. He tries to read, draw, he'll lie here in the dark for hours, nothing. He's more emotional, feeling attacked by my regular tone of voice (yes, I DO sound cranky, but I've always sounded cranky). He cannot think of any way to spend his time; past interests (reading, drawing, chess, lego, etc) hold no interest for him, and he doesn't have any new ideas or interests to pursue. He's like a boat lost at sea.
IMO sleep is crucial, vital to your growth and immune function. He'll fall asleep around midnight and wake between 9-10. I cannot shift that back, even if I wake him early (for soccer on weekends) he's still up until 11-12. I feel like I'm not doing 'right' by him because something is off and I can't figure it out.
He does not eat loads of sugar or even drink juice, He gets exercise. He does not respond well to relaxing herbs (they excite him).
Did your pre-teen (he'll be 10 in a month) develop insomina, boredom and despair? Help!