Tips For Waking A Sleepy Teen

   By drodriguez  Aug 16, 2011

With the first day of the school year fast approaching, your teen is about to get a wake up call...literally…from you…about a dozen times before he or she pulls those covers off and decides to get up and go.

If this sounds like you and your teen's school morning wake up routine, it may not be all your teen's fault.  According to the National Sleep Foundation teens require more than 9 hours of sleep a night on average and their body clocks don’t want to go to bed until 11pm. You can see where an early wake up for school might get a little dicey here, especially after our kids have gotten used to a later summer schedule.

So, how will you and your teen get back into the swing of an “early to bed, early to rise” attitude? A recent USA Today report offers some tips on how to help your teen get up for school without making yourself too stressed.

Medical director of the Florida Sleep Insitute, William Kohler, discusses the lengths some parents have gone to in order to wake a deeply sleeping teen. Kohler says, “Some parents have even slapped their children or taken ice water and poured it on their heads.” Not surprisingly, these types of drastic measures are not recommended.

A better and healthier way to get your teen up in the morning would be to make waking up their responsibility. Author of Snooze… or Lose! 10 "No-War" Ways to Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits, Helene Ensellem, warns parents not to be their teen’s human ‘snooze button’. Ensellem says, “If you walk in their room four times every morning, they know you will keep doing that.”  Instead, just go in there once to check on them. 

Here are some more tips that will help your teen learn how to take responsibility for their ealry morning routine:

  • Have your teen keep a sleep journal so they can see just how few hours of sleep they are getting.
  • Explain that the light from computers and TV can make it tougher for them to fall asleep and recommend that they turn their screens off an hour before they plan to go to bed.
  • Sleeping in on weekends is tempting for teens, but make sure there are limits in place. Don’t allow them to sleep past 10 a.m. so their body clocks don’t get too thrown off before Monday rolls around.
  • If all else fails, make some threats. Warn them that you won’t give them a ride if they don’t get up on time or refuse to write them an excuse for their teacher for tardiness.

Do you have trouble getting your teens back on the early morning school schedule after a summer of sleeping in?

Tell us how you wake your sleepy teen!

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