Tired teens of the world, wake up and smell the coffee.
“Just five more minutes, then I’ll get up. I promise.” How many times have you heard that statement?
More time passes. No movement from the bedroom. You awaken a drowsy, cranky, sleep deprived teen. The rush for the day is on!
“Get dressed and ready for school,” you say as you’re walking toward the kitchen. “NO! There’s no way you’re leaving the house dressed like that.” “Wait, have some breakfast!”
Your teen is out and gone. You hope a call won’t come from the school office that your child has fallen asleep in class—again.
There is debate on the length of time an adolescent requires for a good night sleep. Anywhere between 7 and a half and 9 and a half hours are suggested. As everyone’s bodily needs are different, it makes perfect sense that sleep requirements will need to fit the individual. If you need an alarm clock to rise for the day, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. More than just teens are sleep deprived.
There is a biological shift in the internal clock of an adolescent that happens after puberty, a shift of about two hours—later. It is unfortunate that high schools tend to start the school day early as the students are barely functioning when they arrive.
Teens may be up late texting, working, playing online, or studying. Sleepy students are moody, have poor reaction time, poor judgment, and are inattentive. The following suggestions may help.
- Keep the bedroom dark. It’s hard to sleep when the sun is visible or a streetlight is shining through a window.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Meditate or nap for a short time after getting home from school.
- Avoid stimulating activities, food, or drink prior to bedtime.
Self-medicating with caffeine
It is generally not a good idea to consume caffeine before bed, as it will keep many people awake. But some people who were highly active as children self-medicate with coffee throughout the day. It keeps them relaxed and better able to focus—the opposite of the effect for the rest of the population. To a hyperactive individual, stimulants are calming so caffeine may not be an issue for them.
Buikema, Ellen L. (2014). Parenting . . . A Work in Progress. Sun City West, AZ: Running Horse Press
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=194802 Sleepy Teens are Risk-Taking Teens