Does your teenager have trouble getting up in the morning? When she does, do you feel that you’re living with a groggy-eyed zombie? Chances are you’ve got a sleep-deprived kid on your hands.
Here’s help on how to cope -- and how to get teens the snooze time they desperately need:
How Much Is Enough? Learn how much sleep your children need to function at their best. They should wake up feeling refreshed, not tired. Most adolescents need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep each night.
Make It Routine. Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule, and maintain this routine during weekends and vacations. If your teens must stray from their schedule, they should never do so for two or more consecutive nights. Teach them to avoid delaying bedtime by more than one hour. Awaken them the next day within two hours of their regular routine.
Light Up Their Lives. Get your child into bright light as soon as possible in the morning, but avoid it in the evening. The light helps tell the brain when it should wake up and when it should prepare to sleep.
Get Into The Rhythm. Remember that your teen’s sleep patterns are biologically -- as well as behaviorally -- driven. Help your children to understand their circadian rhythms, and encourage them to maximize their schedule throughout the day based on their internal clocks. For example, to compensate for slump (sleepy) times, have your teens participate in stimulating activities or classes that are interactive. Instruct them to avoid scheduling lecture classes and potentially unsafe activities (including driving) late in the day.