Does your teen struggle to get up on time? Here are 5 reasons why.
It’s a common struggle for parents to get their teens up in time for school. Just why is it so difficult to get the average teenager out of bed in the morning? There are some surprising and some not-so-surprising causes, including a startling biological explanation.
Here are five reasons teens often can’t get up on time, and some helpful tips to help ease the daily struggle.
They’re not getting enough sleep
The most likely culprit is sleep deprivation. Studies show that on average, Americans get about 6.8 hours of sleep each night. That’s below the recommended average of seven hours of sleep for adults. Parents might be surprised to learn that even that number might be too little for teens, who may need to get around nine hours of rest to be able to function the next day.
It might be necessary to encourage teens to go to bed sooner so they get the right amount of sleep. It’s also possible that a late afternoon nap might have a few benefits.
Poor time management
There’s a mistaken belief that the only form of time management teens need is a working alarm clock. It’s what happens after the alarm goes off that sets the course for their day. Parents and teens should work together to create a simple morning schedule. That way, certain tasks such as showering, getting dressed, and eating breakfast get accomplished by pre-designated times.
Time management tools include a series of alarms (instead of just the wake-up alarm), a dry-erase board that lists morning goals, and even a smartphone app like Remember The Milk.
They’re waking up way too early
American schools often start hours earlier than a teenager’s body is naturally prepared to wake up. According to research, teens are biologically prone to waking up at around 8 a.m. They also tend to get sleepy around 10:45 p.m. In a perfect world, this window of time would allow for an ideal amount of sleep. Unfortunately, most schools function on a schedule that doesn’t suit teenage development.
Some schools have changed their start times to allow teens to sleep longer. The results are promising. Depending on where you live, enrolling your teen in such a school might be possible. If not, then the best remedy, if practical, might be an earlier bedtime.
They just can’t get comfortable
Teens might have a hard time getting comfortable enough to go to sleep. Research shows that lights on smartphones and laptops can delay sleep. Additionally, wall colors can negatively influence sleep, with purple walls deemed the worst possible remedy for a good night’s rest.
Uncomfortable sleeping arrangements might also be to blame. Consider shopping around for an adjustable bed. The more comfortable a teen is at night, the easier it can be to wake them up the next day.
Too many late night distractions
Whether it’s scrolling on Twitter or staying up all night playing the latest video games, modern distractions don’t bode well for teenage sleeping patterns. Parents are strongly advised to set a nightly curfew for phones, computers, and game consoles. It might also be best to keep video game consoles in the living or game room instead of allowing them in a teen’s room.
There are a variety of reasons why teens struggle to get up on time; it’s not necessarily laziness. By making a few daily changes, it’s possible that teenagers can get through the morning without a hitch. No two adolescents are alike and what works for some may not work for others. It’s up to parents to work with their teens and figure out the best possible solutions together.