Teens Need Sleep

As a teen, the “no summer bedtime” (or wake-up time) expectations that my parents allowed for my brothers and myself was something I always cherished. However, as with all adult-like privileges in my house, this empowerment to decide when to head to bed and get up existed only as long as I wasn’t late for work, avoiding doing my chores on time, or made too much late night noise. (Oh yeah … or became cranky from lack of sleep!) And overall, I am proud to say that I did pretty good with this summertime freedom … my issue was the school year! How about you?

Parents in 2020 have really had it rough when it comes to managing teens and a bedtime. Once school was moved to the home, it was like summer started early and has lasted 6 months (and probably going to continue). All kinds of routines have been altered … including sleep time. Is this okay? Has your teen been staying up later and later? Are they on electronics till all hours of the night? Do they sleep until noon? Should we be pulling the reins in and enforcing bedtimes currently, especially as no definitive decisions have been made about school in the fall?

I’m not sure there is an easy answer to any of these questions. However, here are some facts to share with teens that should help guide decisions related to a teen’s sleep habits …

  • all humans need sleep to be at their best
  • teens need 9-10 hours per night (not the 7 they typically get)
  • sleep should be on a schedule (i.e., head to bed around the same time each night and wake at the same time)
  • going to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm is optimal (they will find this shocking, I know)
  • a person cannot “make-up” lost sleep on the weekend — although it can help some
  • sleep is better when caffeine is limited prior to bed
  • caffeine is NOT a substitute for a good night sleep
  • electronics should be removed from the bedroom (this includes phone, TV, & computers) — bedrooms are designed for sleep so keep that in mind
  • lack of sleep results in:
    • bad grades
    • accidents
    • bad behavior
    • depression

How is your teen doing based on this criteria? It’s hard, I know … especially in the summer when schedules are more relaxed. That is why I wanted to share this information … now you can blame me (LOL).

I do have some really good news for your teen … NAPS can be GOOD! However, they need to be limited to less than 1 hour, so keep that in mind.

If your teen is extra moody, sad, overall “out-of-sorts” … look at their sleep habits and see if a change is needed!

Make the most of your day!

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