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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Teens & Sleep
Trouble Falling Asleep
Bedtime Rules & Wake-Up Rules
My 15 year old daughter who is finishing her freshman year in high school, is having difficulty falling asleep at night and sometimes difficulty staying asleep. This lack of sleep has been affecting her mood and overall sense of well-being. She has been taking melatonin, (because she and I were desperate), and it helps somewhat, but not enough. I was wondering if anyone has advice for dealing with insomnia at this age. I am thinking that meditation and/or yoga might help. Does anyone out there have any recommendations for a yoga class or a meditation class for teenagers? Thank you! Sleepless in South Berkeley
Keep in mind that teenagers generally are owls, not larks. My teens will all sleep until noon, including my daughter in college. Your teenager may be moving into that cycle, which is tough as schools aren't geared for it. In the meantime, I'd let her sleep in on weekends if you can; for my 14-year-old, who has a lot of mood issues, it's really important that we let him sleep in as long as he wants on the weekends to catch up. I think studies indicate that it's better to wake up at the same time each day for optimum mental and physical energy. I find that true for myself, but for our 14-year-old, it's just best to get him enough sleep whenever we can. Fortunately we can still get him into bed at 10 p.m. We'll see how long it lasts. are you still sleeping?
1. Is your daughter drinking caffeinated sodas/coffee, eating chocolate in the afternoon, evening? If yes, those should stop. She shouldn't have any foods that might be stimulating (yes, even chocolate) after Noon probably, if at all. If she eats a lot of sugar she should think about cutting down on any sugary things in the afternoon and especially the evening.
2. Is she on the computer or watching TV before bed? She should turn both off at least an hour before bed. The ''blue light'' from both stimulate the brain and will keep her awake.
3. Does she have TV/computer in her room? They should come out or be unplugged before bed (and again, at least an hour before bed). Even when turned off, unless unplugged they still emit that blue light.
4. Is her room totally dark? I mean TOTALLY dark? Shades pulled down, no outside lights shining in, no night lights. Maybe try black out curtains or shades. This will make a difference in her ability to fall assleep and stay assleep.
Beyond that, meditation can be helpful. If she's someone who exercises she should do it earlier in the day, as exercise is a ''waker upper''. I can't speak for Yoga, as I haven't done it in many years. Warm tea may help soothe her nervous system...Chamomile especially, but I don't know how effective that is. Does she have particular stressors in her life that may be keeping her awake? Worrying about anything?
I hope some of this info helps. Good luck. fellow mom of sleepless teens.
Most importantly, don't use bed 4 reading, computer, knitting, phone calls or anything but sleep. To do so makes your brain associate bed w/ being awake & active. Kaiser has class Mastering Your Insomnia that is helpful. --Sweet dreams!
Ever since my son was an infant he has had difficulty falling asleep. He has seen a homeopath at the Hanneman Clinic, seen a cranioscral specialist, taken natural sleep supplements, and tried a sleep program at the UC Berkeley Psychology Dept., all without success. My request is if anyone has dealt with sleep issues, esp. in teen- agers please let me know how you solved them. I feel I have tried almost everything I know.
Hello, I need advice about my 13 1/2 yr. old daughter's inablility to fall asleep. She lies awake anxious and fearful about the dark. She has a nightlight and usually sleeps with the dog in her room.However, she goes into her little brother's room and falls asleep in his bed, disturbing him regularly. We thought she would grow out of it but it seems to be getting worse. She says there is nothing much she is anxious about at school, she's got friends and is generally of a happy disposition. All her fears seem to come out at night, although she cannot articulate them beyond ''I feel something's going to come and get me.'' Does she have OCD? Should she see a therapist? Please advise. Anxious mom
You might try out a couple of remedies available at health food stores--Rescue Sleep (Bach Flower essence)and Calms Forte (homeopathic). Also consider looking into the Emotional Freedom Technique--google it--basic instructions can be downloaded, learned at home and applied if she is motivated. This can be quite effective with fears. It is relaxing, and in my experience, helps some people fall asleep easily.
If you and your daughter want further assistance, there are practitioners around who consult on fears and sleep in brief therapy, such as Jill Shugart in Berkeley, and myself. (I have an interest in this area, did research on kids and sleep for sleepgarden.com, with booklet and CD of guided relaxation,and/or music--Zkids).
You are welcome to contact me to talk things over. Sleepy wishes, Jenny
Help! My 12-year-old daughter can't fall asleep on her own! She is taking long-acting medication for ADD so that might be a factor, but the truth is she has never been a good sleeper, and always refuses sleepovers, trips away from home and sleepaway camp because she is worried that she will not fall asleep and will be awake all night in a house/bunk full of sleeping people. She told me just last night (when she couldn't sleep and I wanted to!) that she doesn't ''know how'' to fall asleep. Any ideas? I'd even be willing to take her to a clinic if there is one that deals with such problems. She is starting to really feel bad that she can't spend the night away from us and frankly, my husband and I could use a break too! Mother of a night owl
You may get some responses suggesting behavior changes (afternoon exercise, nighttime reading or stretching or shower, nighttime ritual like talking together, music tapes in the dark, yoga, self-hypnosis, no TV watching before bed, not having a 1st period class so teen can sleep later in the morning) or dietary changes (chamomile tea or warm milk at bedtime, or carbs like fruit or bread, but no protein or sugar, after dinner).
I got a chamomile-based pill called Calm-forte at the natural food store at El Cerrito Plaza that the staff said was appropriate for younger teens. It helped my kids. Now that my son is 16 he occasionally takes melatonin before bed. You can get that cheaply at Trader Joe's. Either pill may be a placebo, but I don't think they're harmful. However, you might want to check with your doctor or pharmacist regarding drug interactions with food or supplements. good luck
Our daughter, 13, is a high achieving and motivated public school student. Starting last June, she began to have terrible insomnia. It continued through the summer, despite being engaged in vigorous physical activities. She swears that she is not worried about anything (except not sleeping). I visited the Food Mill (a good source of information on homeopathic/naturopathic treatments) and began giving her Passionflower/chamomile tea and Valerian. These seemed to have little or no effect. She tried adjusting her bedtime and waking time with no change. She increased her swimming in an effort to fatigue herself. Needless to say, she was a frustrated and fragile person much of the time; grouchy to her sisters, dad and me.
We consulted her pediatrician, who was not much help, but did say that she had seen several kids that week with the same complaint!
I had hoped, that when school began in September, the problem would resolve itself. It has improved, but she still has nights with little sleep several times per week. I just don't know what to think. After a day of school, swim workouts and hours of homework she should be exhausted, but isn't. She is not a "nervous energy" sort of person. Now I don't know what, if anything, I can do to help my daughter. She is becoming concerned because she must soon take the ISEE and other entrance exams for high school admission, and she wants to do well. Her dad and I are trying to keep all of this as 'low key' as possible, since we both find the pressures placed on such young kids to be unreasonable.
Is there anything else I might do to help her? I really don't want her to be medicated constantly, but she certainly needs more rest. Has anyone else experienced this with their daughter? Suggestions welcome!
Do you have Kaiser coverage? I know that Kaiser has a program to help people who are having sleep problems. It is an amazingly common problem. You might also consult a therapist. While you may not want your daughter to rely on medication as a permanent thing to get to sleep (completely understandable concern), she may at this point be feeling so worried and anxious about whether she will be able to sleep that she is too wound up to let go and get there. I consulted a psychiatrist at Kaiser when my sleep problems briefly resurfaced as an adult. He prescribed an antidepressant which he said was not addictive. I did use it sometimes and it did help. When my sleep problems got better, I stopped using it without a problem.
I found the sleeping class even more helpful tho' because it gave really good practical tips on how to help yourself sleep. Here are some of the top tips I heard there: Try to get up and go to sleep each day at pretty much the same time - so that is weekdays and weekends alike. If you sleep in on weekends, you are not as ready to go to sleep at your normal time (say on a Sunday). (I resisted this advice at first because I dearly love sleeping in on the weekends, especially after not falling asleep until late or being sleep deprived from the week, but I finally did try just routinely getting up EVERY day at 7 a.m. or earlier and it really did seem to help.) If you fall asleep late or have trouble sleeping at night, still get yourself up early and do NOT take naps. Try to use your bedroom only for sleeping. If your daughter is doing homework in her room she may associate the room with thoughts of school and have trouble relaxing. If she uses her room to watch tv, she is getting used to thinking of it as a place where she does things other than sleep. It is good to get used to using the room (and associating it) primarily with sleep. Don't look at the clock as you are getting ready for bed or while you are in bed or if you are having trouble sleeping - it just makes you more tense. If you don't fall asleep within a reasonable time of going to bed (e.g., 10 or 15 minutes) GET UP and go do something in another room that is not stimulating or stressful - read a book, whatch tv, sweep the floor - until you begin to relax, then go back to bed and try again. If you remain in bed for too long not sleeping, it reinforces the notion that the bed is not a place where you sleep. These things helped me a lot. I hope that they help your daughter. Hang in there, and good luck! Sleep problems are a giant bummer but they probably will improve with time. DMorris
There are some mental tricks for getting your conscious mind to let go that she could learn from a psychologist or clinic, or probably find by researching the internet. I have had insomnia all my life and have had good results using time-released melatonin (Long's sells it). Another remedy that has been helpful is Hylands Calms Forte. Hot milk in combination with one of these works well for my ordinary insomnia episodes.
Insomnia is one of those things that you deal with intermittently all your life, if you're one of those people that gets it. You are doing a very good thing to help your daughter learn how to deal with it. Good luck; I hope you find her the help she needs. Louise
Find another doctor or mention a short term sleeping aid to help her body adjust back to its normal cycle. For whatever the reason, your daughter's sleep cycle has been interrupted and she needs help getting it back. Not being able to sleep is hard enough on adults. I can only imagine what it's like for children who need more of it. marianne
Since melatonin is a hormone, it is really important to talk to your daughter's pediatrician before initiating therapy. As a pharmacist, I would caution against using prescription sleep medications (Ambien or the various benzodiazepines, such as Ativan or Restoril). These drugs can cause dependency and, as such, are inappropriate for use in children and teens.
We live in a society that does not understand fatigue. We think that we need sleep when we are sleepy (ie. can no longer focuse, concentrate or stay awake). That is not correct. By that point, we have become over tired. We should instead go to sleep when we are tired. Often, when we pass the threshold of being tired, and stay awake, we become "wired" and then have a difficult time falling asleep even though we are more fatigued.
Here were some suggestions:
1) develop regular sleep pattersn. ie go to sleep at a regular time;
2) get more sleep if you wake up fatigued. One should wake up refreshed;
3) Go to sleep feeling pleasant - have a hot bath, do something relaxing. Do not get into an argument or exciting conversation, or watch a scary/exciting movie.
4) Have your place of sleep be pleasant and comfortable (good sheets, bedclothes, mattress)
5) make sure your room is dark. Light will cause sleep disturbances including night lights
The doctor interviewed considered good sleep a foundation for good health.
Now that my son is going to Arrowsmith Academy, he is so much happier, relaxed and having fun learning than I've ever seen him. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off our whole small family of three. He still sometimes stays up too late on weekends with friends, and/or has trouble getting to bed and waking up in the morning but he is so much more able to be self-regulating in managing his sleep needs.
I too would love to hear more about sleep deprivation and changing natural sleep cycles among teens. In particular, I'd like to hear more about what Eileen Hadidian mentioned in her comment:
"Studies have shown that teen's biological clocks shift during puberty, and not only do they need more sleep, but they naturally stay up longer and need to sleep longer. Their brains don't start functioning at peak until later in the morning, around 8:30 or 9:00 am. Sleep deprivation amongst our teens is brought on by the multitude of responsibilities they have and by their own natural sleep cycle, which may be impairing their ability of learn and retain information." Thank you for bringing this up. Tani
Editor Note: there is some info about this research on the web here: http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1728.60579 (WebMD website)
Mine is up to date on all the medications and procedures and has changed my prescriptions and treatments a few times because of new things he learned about, so I trust his opinion. Your doctor will be better able to rule out causes for the insomnia and figure out what's best for your teen. Good luck. Marianne
Then, she joined the Berkeley High crew team. The afternoon practices gave her an excuse to stay up later to complete homework. She wanted to quit crew (which we refused to allow because she had quit every other sport up to that point) We worried about how she was going to manage crew, school, and studies once practices shifted to 5:45.
What a surprise! When she had to started getting up at 5:00 a.m. to get to 5:45 (2 hr) practice sessions, no more sleep problems and no more complaining about quitting. The change was instanteous. She gets up on her own so as not to miss her ride and look irresponsible to her peers (we car pool); she now goes to tutoring after school on her own volition to get help with 2 of her courses. She comes home, does several hours more of homework and is in bed (on her own volition by 10:00 p.m. compared to 12:00 and 1:00 a.m. before) and is asleep within minutes). She's now a solid "A" student. Go figure. Was it a change in sleep schedule? A shift in exercise schedule? Peer pressure?
My son is going on 14, and it's unbelievable how much he sleeps!! He is sleeping right now, and if i don't go throw water, ice or something worse on him, he will just stay in bed until like 1:30pm! True, we got back after 12:10am from watching fireworks last night, but even @ county fairgrounds he plunked down on a towel and zonked out @ about 5:30pm.
This started at age 11 (middle school, which he did not like). He'd been in martial arts but decided to boycott it since he did not want to get up @ 8:15am anymore on Sat. Now he has no extra-curricular activities except the computer (to the point that he had to get glasses this year when all his life previously he'd had 20/20 vision), occasional bike rides & visits w/ friends. When I take him out to beach, swimming, fairs etc. it's a HUMUNGOUS effort to drag him off the bed & requires threatening, pleading, throwing water etc. until finally i lock up computer (or threaten to) & that gets him up.
Fortunately he attended ID Tech Camp last 2 years, which is educational, fun & good use of time (though I'm not sure if it's sociable, since he didn't make any friends there). I also get him into summer camps where they go fishing, bowling, 6 Flags, etc. (he often says ''Big whoopee'' sarcastically about all the above, since he only seems to love the computer). But between the extended lengths of time in bed & the extended time sitting on couch using the laptop I am worried that 1) He doesn't get enough fresh air, exercise & blood circulation, 2) The computer use is actually making him more lethargic & less inclined to go out & play (I already know it can cause insomnia) and 3) he is turning into an old man way before his time--that is what he seems like, laying in bed or sitting on the couch all the time.
He is in therapy, but so far I don't see anything changed @ all and am wondering what the use is or how long before any results are seen. I took him for a physical & it was normal, no anemia, nothing but Vitamin D deficiency (I got vitamins).
What is a parent to do? Is this ''normal'', a passing stage? I did not go thru this @ this age, nor did any of my friends! Is too much sleep harmful? When it's 4 of July and i have plans to go to the Fair (he agrees that the rides, shows, fireworks & all are fun) I cannot even get him up for that & we end up getting there at 3pm--more than 1/2 the day wasted, & no time to see animals, etc. There was barely time to go on 3 of those free rides we all like so much. Any suggestions, comments? This can't be normal
As an adult female, I still have to monitor my meds to make sure I'm getting enough or not too much thyroid hormone, etc. Thyroid conditions are ususally pretty benign but I would encourage you to have a complete blood work-up done on him and also have his thyroid levels checked.
He may be experiencing the normal teenage indifference, but it's worth checking. Good Luck! Mom of a Pre-teen
It is really, really hard and sad when you want to do family things and your teen or pre-teen won't get up. If you've confirmed that your son isn't depressed or having a sleep disorder, then you might have to just accept that this is how it's going to be for a while. Make sure his bedtime is early enough. If his sleep cycle seems off, check out Ferber's ''Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems'' which includes lots of useful info on teen sleep behavior.
Some tactics: Set limits on how much screen time he gets (we have a weekly amount, with ways to earn and lose time for good or bad behavior for our 13-year-old). If he's old enough to be left alone, then go do things without him--let him know without angst or anger that you won't wait all day for him. During times when our son is out of screen time and wants to stay home rather than go out and have fun, we also quietly put away the computer cords. Set some minimum requirements for time spent in physical activity or out of the house or at camp, and use the screen time for leverage. Since our foster son is very anxious and would rather hole up at home than interact with the world, he earns double-time for physical activity (half-hour of ping pong equal an hour of screen time).
As far as the sarcasm and bad attitude are concerned, those might be age-related too. My eldest was not like this, but my foster son sure is, and the feedback I've gotten from this list is that it's typical. It stinks. Try to let him make his own decisions and pay his own consequences. Insist on attendance at some things, especially those not in the morning--we insisted on a baseball game which our teen loved despite the grumbling and but-whying beforehand. Let him miss out on the morning things if he won't get up. Lord get me through this age
When a child is a night owl, stays up half the night to read, can't wake up in time to go to school on time, is very smart but getting bad grades because she falls asleep in class, what do you do? B.
All my kids were night owls in their teen years, some still are as adults. I don't think that forcing them to go to bed works. Even without a cell-phone or a computer they stay up. One likes to read before falling asleep. One writes poetry in her journal. One loves to paint and draw till 1 am! and one composes music till all hours. I think it has to do with the way the teenage brain develops, that their creativity bursts in the wee hours.
In addition to healthy food (no sweets), I had them take vitamins and minerals, plus fish-oil, to make sure their health is supported. I explained about the importance of 8 hours of sleep (out of 24)for their brain and body. The afternoon nap did wonders for them.
If your rules accommodate their quirks, there's a better chance that they will listen to you. accommodating mom
We have a 14 yr old who can not self regulate to get 9+
hours of sleep each night. When younger bed time no
problem. Now, doesn't get to bed before 1:00AM. Averages
between 5-6 hours per night. Teen feels it is the only free
time they have. Stays up reading or sneaking the computer.
Have locked up computer but wonder if that really helps
teen to self regulate. Have any suggestions?
My 16-year-old daughter has had sleeping issues all of her life. She has never been a good sleeper (and when I was pregnant with her I also had trouble sleeping--the only time that has ever happened in my life). It's gotten to the point that there are nights when she reports not sleeping at all, just tossing and turning in bed endlessly. She seems exhausted in the mornings, but rallies during the day, and by evening is once again wide awake. She goes to school, does her homework, is involved in activities, and otherwise leads a normal life, but I know she is tired much of the time, and both she and we, her parents, are concerned. Her pediatrician has heard our worries for many years, and has given advice which has never helped much. At her last visit he gave her a prescription for sleeping medication (can't remember the name offhand, and I just took it in to the pharmacy to be filled). She's hesitant, as are we, to go down this path, but feel powerless to do much of anything else. She's tried all the usual remedies--keeping to a routine, drinking warm milk, sleepytime tea, yoga, etc. She says she just can't turn off her brain at night, and she is a very cerebral kid! Any advice? I've thought of biofeedback, therapy, meditation, but have no leads to pursue. Would welcome ideas from anyone who has been there and found something that helps. anonymous
''Stanford University Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders''. Your pediatrician can be expected not to know much about a special area of medicine like that. Good luck!
Also, has your daughter tried Melatonin? This also has to be used with some care, but the timed-release seems to work pretty well, though not on the worst nights. For that I use the sleeping pills.
So, my advice is to go slowly and carefully, but use the pills when they are needed and don't worry about it. Good luck. Dianna
I would like to get some feedback and perspective from parents. I have an ongoing concern about sleep deprivation among our teens and how it is impacting their health as well as their performance in school, and would like to get some feedback and perspective from other parents.
Part of the problem is the starting time of many Bay Area high schools, and the scheduling of difficult classes first thing in the morning. Albany High starts at 7:40 am, and many of the more advanced classes which have only one section, such as math, are offered at that hour. These classes require a lot of concentration, at an hour when most teens are still waking up.
Studies have shown that teen's biological clocks shift during puberty, and not only do they need more sleep, but they naturally stay up longer and need to sleep longer. Their brains don't start functioning at peak until later in the morning, around 8:30 or 9:00 am. Sleep deprivation amongst our teens is brought on by the multitude of responsibilities they have and by their own natural sleep cycle, which may be impairing their ability of learn and retain information.
Our high school students are trying to balance their school work in multiple subjects, along with part-time jobs, practice in sports or an arts activity that often goes late into the evening. Our daughter, who is in 11th grade at Albany High, cannot get to her homework until 7 or 8 pm, and works until midnight or 1 am, because the homework load is so heavy. She is seriously tired when she gets up at 6:40 am to get to a 7:40 am class. And this tiredness is cumulative, as sleep deprivation builds up and eventually makes her sick and have to miss school.
I find this kind of scheduling and pressure unhealthy for our kids, and would welcome your comments.
Regarding scheduling of hard classes into the morning--I have NO idea why this is done, but it's a bad idea. This happened to my daughter. Her required, difficult, math class was scheduled ONLY at 8am. She is NOT a morning person. Neither are we. The class was a disaster from the start. Despite my pleadings with both her and her counselor that she delay the class to another semester and time, she went ahead and took it. She failed, and the failure in that class caused her to lose confidence, give up, and subsequently fail in every other class, and eventually she attempted suicide over being such a "failure." Rather than have this happen again, we chose to remove her from the school system altogether, and "un-school" her (like homeschooling, but more directed by the student). This is a radical solution, but appears to be one of the few solutions available when no one is listening to the fact that these early hours DO NOT WORK for teens.
BTW: Since she has been unschooling, she's done just fine on a schedule that has her going to sleep at midnight, and leaving for work/classes around 11 am. She's happy, productive, learning lots, and wonderful to be around. An utter contrast from her former tired, cranky, unmotivated self. Good luck convincing the powers that be to change things! Sincerely, Dawn
"Studies show that while fifth and sixth graders can be wide awake all day after about nine hours' sleep, teenagers need 10 hours to be alert all day long, says Richard D. Simon, Jr., MD, medical director of the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorder Center in Walla Walla, WashSimon. "The average teenager gets about six hours' sleep, so he's sleep-depriving himself completely," he says. Other researchers put the necessary amount of sleep for teens at about 9 hours and 15 minutes a night. ... In addition, high-school-age children appear to undergo a shift in their biological 'body clock,' which tells them when to rise and go to bed, he says: "There's some evidence that teenagers' biological clock may be programmed to start turning off later at night and turn on later in morning." According to the National Sleep Foundation report, studies have shown that the typical high school student's natural bedtime is 11 p.m. or later."
So an 11pm bedtime, pretty reasonable for teens with homework and after school activities, means that your teen should be sleeping till 8:30 or 9 in the morning, which is impossible for most high schools. Allowing an hour for the teen to have a shower and eat breakfast and wait for the bus, we're looking at an arrival time 10am or so. I think what happens instead is they are forced to get up too early, fall asleep during class, walk through the day like a zombie, and try to catch up on the weekends.
I'm not too optimistic about the schools figuring this problem out in the next 20 years. After all they still think all families have a mommy at home to greet kids at 3pm every day. There are alternatives though. My son just started this year at Berkeley High Independent Study. The jury is still out on whether this change will address his academic "issues". But one huge benefit of BIS is that my night owl son has been able to arrange his schedule so that he can sleep in most mornings. The combination of more sleep and more control over his schedule has really made a big difference in his day-to-day demeanor and in our relationship too. Ginger
The patterns of discipline and study that are set in middle school are "in most cases" the ones that will carry students through high school and college. So teaching good study habits and time management are important skills for later in life. I also think that broadening the base of knowledge in specific subjects is also a postive achievement in middle school. HOWEVER, is there a danger that we are also teaching our children to become "workaholics" or something less negative "do-aholics" by virtue of the fact that we keep them so busy with exercises for the mind?
I question just how wise our culture is in stressing the acquisition of knowledge as a vehicle for self-fulfillment and social success without a complementary emphasis on the cultivation of wisdom. Have we not forgotten to tend to the spirit and introduce qualities and practices that are meant to open our young people to the possibility of wisdom arising from silence and quiet reflection?
I have many more questions than answers; however, this culture seems to have many more answers than questions. The problem arises when questions are no longer encouraged, discussion is had for the sake of hearing oneself and others talk, and political discourse is used to condone the righteousness of one group's values. Wisdom is concealed by efforts at pleasant social intercourse, or worse yet by efforts to establish one point of view as superior to another. I do question the wisdom of excessive homework (busywork) at a time in the world's evolution that calls for a grand leap of understanding of what it is to be an evolving human being?
I hope I stayed close enought to the topic, Eileen. I am wrestling with questions that arise from living with an emerging adolescent and the changes that come with all that, including homework and scheduling.
I think it would be useful if there were a variety of schedules to accomodate the various internal clocks the kids (hey and teachers too) have. But don't forget -- if your kid stays up to 11 pm to do homework now when he or she is getting out of school at 2:45-- would you really be happy with him or her staying up till 1 am or later to get the same amount of work done because school didn't end until 5 pm? Maybe we are just allowing our kids to do too much (school plus sports plus jobs...)
My son is having a real hard time getting out of bed in the morning. He goes to bed pretty early 9:30 pm or 10 pm the latest. I was told to get up early because it takes a long time for the teen to really awaken his/her senses...but is it necessary to wake him more than one hour before he is supposed to go? He had learning disabilities and attentional/focus issues and may be experiencing mild to moderate anxiety because parents recently decided to separate temporarily. He is seeing a mentor/therapist who is skilled in dealing with teens. I am using clear water misting from a water spray bottle, but he is not a plant. I turn the heat and the lights on full blast. Penny for your thoughts, recommendations, suggestions....
I am a single mother, and my son (15) and I have had what always seemed to be a happy home life, and done a lot of harmonious traveling together. But I've also been concerned over the years that he seemed awfully tired--as if he were oversensitive to Life or something. Recently I've been learning that for the last five years or more, he has been politely saying good night... and then spending three hours or more doing other things, until as late as 1:30 a.m.--reading, exercising and more recently, being with friends on his iPod. 1. I know these are not comparatively bad things to do, 2. I know he needs alone time and space for himself to do things separately from me. I am very active and appreciate his independence. But A. I am really shocked by the lying, and for so long, and B. I have no idea how to impress on him the need for sleep. (C. His doing all this in the adjacent room also explains my own restless sleep?) He seems to be telling me that he started lying about it out of a sense of adventure and wanting privacy, and then couldn't stop. ??? But we've talked about it very nicely and then he's lied some more. Help me get a handle on all this? Kind of Stunned About This
My advice is for you to let go. We can't control our kids and if we try, they will rebel and get into all sorts of acting out behavior much worse than the normal activities your son is doing. Maybe you can say gee I'm concerned you're not getting enough sleep. However, don't expect much to change.
If this is unbearable for you, I would then advise you look into getting some counseling for yourself. It's hard to let go of our kids, but it's necessary for their growth and ours. Anon
However, if his lack of sleep is having bad effects on his behavior then I do think you have the right and obligation to step in and help teach him to manage his time.
So if he is grouchy/rude in the am, late to school, not doing am chores, skipping after school activities, or if his grades are slipping, then on nights before school days, when you go to bed, take his phone and the power cord from the computer(s) into your bedroom! (be sure to turn off the phone so you don't get woken up...) Return them in the morning when you get up.
When the behavior improves (which may mean waiting till next report card, or you can check with teachers), give him another chance. Repeat as needed! best wishes
With our daughter now in 6th grade, it seems like all of a sudden, an enforced bedtime is no longer working. I am wondering what others do about bedtimes, enforcing it (if you do), and how these things change from elementary school to middle school. Our daughter does not handle being tired very well - she loses it easily. At the same time, she sometimes does OK when she's gone to bed later than I feel is right, so I wonder if this is one of those things that I just have to loosen up with and go with the flow. My husband believes in being flexible as long as she is able to handle things in a reasonable manner. Oh yes - she's pulling straight A's in school and doesn't stay up late watching TV/playing video games. It's reading. It's silly to get upset about her reading (I LOVE that she is a voracious reader, of course!) - I'm just concerned about her getting enough sleep and am concerned that I am making too big a deal of this. I know - pick your battles. :-) daughter is growing up
Bedtime can and should be negotiated reasonably, recognizing their growing ability and need to decide things for themselves (i.e., avoiding a power struggle). Once a bedtime regime has been negotiated, you can feel free to encourage your kid to keep to it. John K
They have to get up at 6:30 on weekdays to get ready for school (their middle school starts at 7:50 AM).
If they have a lot of studying to do and have an afternoon activity like sports, then sometimes they go to bed around 9:30 PM. But we limit ''media'' time (TV or video games) to 30 minutes after school, so they normally have sufficient time to study before dinner.
If they really aren't sleepy, we still have them go to bed and read for 15 minutes or so then it is lights out.
When they were younger, 8:30 was bedtime. When they are in high school, We're expecting it to go to 10:00 PM since they go to school later and will have more homework.
We don't like grumpy kids :)
I'm curious what other parents out there do about bedtime for 12- year olds. The particular girl in question would love to stay up late and get up late. For school days, obviously, this can't be too late, even though I think school won't start until 8:30 or 9am this year. I have problems knowing what's acceptable, because my natural rhythm is to go to bed early and get up early. I love morning, and I know that's not ''normal''. So, how late do people out there let their 12-year olds stay up on weekdays and on weekends? Help! -early bird parenting a night owl
A friend with 2 teenagers told me that she doesn't let her
kids sleep past 10am on the weekends - too much 'sleeping
away the day' or something. I've always let my (teenage)
kids sleep until they wake up on the weekends - I figure
they get up early every weekday, their bodies must need the
rest. But now that she mentioned it, I wondered if it's a
good idea. What do you think?
wake up call?
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