Getting Teens to Turn Off and Get to Sleep

Research shows that teens like to stay up late, and sleep in late. Unfortunately, school schedules don't allow that. So, how do we make sure they get enough sleep?

Teenagers and adolescents are hard-wired to want to stay up late and sleep in.  As a teacher, I noticed a lot of students were half-asleep in first period classes. Their brains want to be sleeping at 7:30 a.m.

Unfortunately, because of school start times, the older students are starting the earliest. There has been debate across the country about whether high school start times should be pushed back to take advantage of the kids' natural sleep cycles.

Short of a change in the school schedules, what can parents do to make sure their teens and middle schoolers are unplugging and getting to bed early enough to function in the morning?
Let us know what you think.

Karen Raleigh April 06, 2011 at 03:19 PM
I'm sympathetic to this problem, because I like to stay up late too. What I do for my kids (and myself!) is keep electronics out of the bedroom entirely. We have no TVs or computers in our rooms, and I make my daughter put her cell phone on the charger -out of her room- at bedtime. It's still hard to make that break and call it a day, but at least there's nothing to do but sleep when you get there.
Lisa Vasile April 06, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Tough one ~ my 15 year old is a night owl. Her bedtime is 10pm. I have stopped checking on her to see when she actually falls asleep. But...she does wake up at 5:20 am to go to the gym with me most mornings. She says when she does this she is more awake in class.
Mary MacDonald April 07, 2011 at 03:23 PM
When I was in high school, in NH, it was common for high school kids to work late. I think Massachusetts prevents that, but I had many students when I taught in a high school who also lost sleep due to after-school jobs. Everyone seems to have such crammed schedules that the thing that goes is sleep.


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