Adolescents have different sleep cycles because their circadian and homeostatic systems are still developing (this is even across cultures and species).
Sleep deprivation among adolescents is epidemic. We argue that this sleep deprivation is due in part to pubertal changes in the homeostatic and circadian regulation of sleep. These changes promote a delayed sleep phase that is exacerbated by evening light exposure and incompatible with aspects of modern society, notably early school start times. In this review of human and animal literature, we demonstrate that delayed sleep phase during puberty is likely a common phenomenon in mammals, not specific to human adolescents, and we provide insight into the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon.