PDA

View Full Version : Teens and sleep



Cindy in CA
09-25-2013, 11:07 AM
My 15 yo has become a night owl over the past year or so. I know that it is natural for teens to go through a huge change in their sleep cycles. He does great with his school work after hours when his brother and I are in bed. I have tried to be flexible as long as he gets his work done, but this year he has a 9:00 am Biology class on Friday mornings. He has been adjusting pretty well to the schedule I implemented of going to bed around midnight and being woken at 10:oo Monday - Thursday, 7:45 on Friday and 9:00 on Sunday. Well this past weekend he got really behind on his sleep. He didn't sleep well a couple nights and stayed up too late at his dads. He also had an all day chess tournament over the weekend that he had to wake early for. Yesterday the sleep deprivation and work load got the best of him and lets just say, ummm, it was a hard day around here. :eyes::eek:

This boy needs a lot of sleep. He needs a lot of food and a lot of exercise...don't they all?LOL.

I guess I am just wondering if anyone has wisdom on dealing with the demand for sleep and the lack of time he feels he has to accomplish everything. What has helped your teen get the sleep he/she needs and what has helped them stay up on their school work when there are only so many hours in the day to get things done. He gets distracted easily too which doesn't help. For instance, my younger son is reading Harry Potter, if the book is left anywhere Nick sees it, he will pick it up, just to look at it and still be "looking at it" a half hour ( or more ) later if I don't police him. Then he complains he doesn't have enough time to get his school work done.:eyes: What has helped your teens stay focused and on track, get enough sleep and have time and energy for fun activities too? Do your teens do school work on the weekends? I hate to make him do that cause he really really needs that weekend break.

TIA

:)

Rachel Jane
09-25-2013, 02:37 PM
:group:
I have nothing but commiseration. We tried enforcing a bed time and they were more sleep deprived than ever. Their clocks just don't work before 10am.
Jer is in college and has early classes. He handles them fine, then usually has a short nap or rest in the afternoon.

Rebe
09-25-2013, 03:41 PM
I'd also love to hear a good answer for this problem! My 17yo can't go to sleep before 11:30 or midnight. That's what he says. On school days, I make him get up at 8:00. I know that with homeschooling, he would have the option to sleep in, but the rule here (on school days) is, up by 8:00 and school at 9:00. That's for all of the kids, not just the teens. It's worked for us so far.

How do I get him up by 8:00? Well, this may sound bad, but I do the same thing I do to break every bad habit he has -- I charge him for it. :D If he isn't upstairs by 8:15, he pays me $1. That can add up. It's not a lot of money, but it gets the point across. I've done this with many bad habits (leaving towels on the floor, etc.) and it's worked every time. ;)

On Saturdays, he sleeps and sleeps and I don't wake him. Sundays, he's up early again.

I haven't noticed signs of sleep deprivation in him. If I did, I'm sure I'd have to rethink all of this. I just know that if my 17yo doesn't get school started by 9:00, it's not going to get done. He'll just procrastinate forever. And he doesn't do homework on weekends, except in rare cases, so it gets done M-F.

I'd love to hear what others are doing about this. The teen sleep cycle is really challenging to deal with. :unsure:

Rachel Jane
09-25-2013, 03:47 PM
I don't think it sounds like a bad idea at all, Rebe. Especially since it seems to be working!

Miranda.in.WA
09-25-2013, 08:08 PM
For my teenagers, we set up the following rules:
-As soon as dh and/or I go to our bedroom (around 11pm), our ds knows he's going to his room too.
-All electronics are left behind at bedtime (sometimes I take them into my room...sometimes they just sit on table).
-Meals are at meal time, with the family. We will do popcorn most every night while ds and dh watch their 'show' (either a Myth Buster, John Wayne, History channel show, whatever is on Netflix).
-One snack is OK (chips/salsa, etc) before dinner, but not after dinner.

So anyways, I limit my teens caffeine intake by not having soda in the house. I also limit sugar type snacks after dinner by only doing pop corn. Its our usual...not necessarily a 'you can't have that'. I don't offer free range of the kitchen because I think having set meal times help keep our internal clocks in time. But that does make me responsible for having those meals ready at the right time.

Lastly, I remove the electronics at 'bed time' so they aren't tempted to be up all night goofing off. This includes the nook.

My 3rd is the oldest here at home. He's 3 months older than your Nick. So I've been there...done that...and these are just a few things we do to keep life running smoothly. These are just our ground rules, so they're not challenged or changed, if that makes sense.

CINDY LB OH
09-25-2013, 09:01 PM
My 15yo altered his sleep schedule this summer while his sister's were home from college. They would stay up watching movies, so he would stay up too. I didn't mind, because he enjoys being with his older sister's, but now I've had to work at getting him back to a better time schedule. Right now he has to be in his room at midnight and he wakes up at 10am. He doesn't have any electronics in his room either, but he's usually still awake at 1:30am sometimes. He says it's hard to get to sleep. He's one of those who has a hard time "shutting his brain off".

He starts school at 10:30am, though the goal is up at 9:30am and start school at 10am.

So I don't have any advice, but joining in letting you know you aren't alone.

Rachel Jane
09-25-2013, 09:04 PM
Right now he has to be in his room at midnight and he wakes up at 10am. He doesn't have any electronics in his room either, but he's usually still awake at 1:30am sometimes. He says it's hard to get to sleep. He's one of those who has a hard time "shutting his brain off".

He starts school at 10:30am, though the goal is up at 9:30am and start school at 10am.

So I don't have any advice, but joining in letting you know you aren't alone.

This. Excepts our are in their rooms by 11.
So when we get them up early, they are just tired and cranky and their bodies STILL don't shut down at night until 130 or 2 am.

Cindy in CA
09-25-2013, 11:53 PM
Wow, I certainly am not alone in this. That does make me feel better. He saves his non-computer work for night time so the computer ( only electronics he has) is off at 10:00 pm and we don't have caffeinated drinks at all so those two aren't issues at all. Yesterday what finally got him out of his mood and saying he was too tired to function was sitting outside in the sun. That sunlight worked wonders. I let him go to the gym mid day sometimes too, which help break up the day and the exercise of course helps.

Thanks for the feedback ladies. Funny this is the same kid that used to wake at the crack of dawn....or earlier, when he was little. If you think about it, I think this beats those young days when they woke up waaaaaaaay too early. :unsure:

:)

laurie in ok
09-29-2013, 11:04 PM
Add my dd to the list. She can't fall asleep at night until around midnight. Mon-Wed she gets up at 7 because we have co-op or she babysits. On Thur and Fri she gets up about 9:30 and on the weekends she sleeps in until she gets up. Well - Sundays she's usually up around 9 for church. She doesn't require much sleep to function well - so that's not been very hard.

She's my kid who will blow off school for a day, except math, and then cram a ton of school into the next day. Its drives me crazy, but several of her days are just busy. On Wednesdays she babysits from 9-12 and then she leaves for service team at church around 4:30. Of course she has to have plenty of time to get pretty before church, etc. That leaves little time for school. On Thursday she will do a ton of school and catch up for all she missed on Wed. I'm trying to let her do what works for her as long as she keeps her grades up and gets her work done on time.

Cindy in CA
01-03-2014, 12:59 PM
Hi Ladies,

I just came back to this thread because we are really revisiting this sleep issue....well it never really left, but due to the Christmas break he has been going to bed so late. So I came back to reread what everyone said and try to figure out new guidelines.

Miranda you said basically your kitchen isn't open really after dinner. I am thinking on this. Nick seems to always "need" a midnight snack which takes him forever to eat. Meals take so long with him. He finishes a meal and then continues on to munching. It goes on too long. Any ideas ladies? Do your teen boys do this? His weight is perfect and he exercises, he gets hungry late. He almost seems to need two dinners. Maybe I need set times, but that is hard for me with our schedules all over the place.

If anyone has the time could you post your meal schedule for your teens if you have one. Also, if you haven't already, I love seeing the "bedtime" and waking schedules.

Last week, at his dads, he slept until 2:00 pm.:eek: That is crazy. He didn't like it either cause there were only 3 hrs of daylight. I have been getting him up at noon during the break, but told him today it will be 11:00 because we need to prepare for Monday when school starts back up. I am thinking of implementing the in his room at midnight rule like some of you have mentioned and up at 10:00 am ( except for Friday and Sundays, that is earlier).

Please share your thoughts on all this, it helps me think this through. Thank you, friends!

:)

Rachel Jane
01-03-2014, 01:08 PM
I know my opinion isn't a popular one, but I have always allowed my guys to eat when hungry, get it themselves and clean up after themselves. They are both tall, thin, and physically active (the older does cross fit). My guys have internet access go off at 8pm on weekdays and come on again at 8am on weekdays. If Jer need something for college, he has to plan ahead or use my computer.
We have no set bed time or waking schedules, other than Jer needed to get up for college or L and I needing to be somewhere early (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday).
As long as they do their daily chores, their schoolwork and their exercising, we let it go.
When we need them to get up earlier, they can. They may be grumpy, but they can do what needs to be done.

Cindy in CA
01-03-2014, 01:29 PM
I know my opinion isn't a popular one, but I have always allowed my guys to eat when hungry, get it themselves and clean up after themselves. They are both tall, thin, and physically active (the older does cross fit). My guys have internet access go off at 8pm on weekdays and come on again at 8am on weekdays. If Jer need something for college, he has to plan ahead or use my computer.
We have no set bed time or waking schedules, other than Jer needed to get up for college or L and I needing to be somewhere early (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday).
As long as they do their daily chores, their schoolwork and their exercising, we let it go.
When we need them to get up earlier, they can. They may be grumpy, but they can do what needs to be done.

This is what I have been doing with eating too, they prepare for themselves if I am not cooking and they clean up. I do wake up to a fairly clean kitchen after Nick has had his late snacks. I thought RJ you did wake them up at 10:00 am. Perhaps I am thinking of someone else. Maybe that is on those specific days?? Do they set alarms or do you wake them?

Thanks for posting, it helps me to talk this through.

:)

Cindy in CA
01-03-2014, 01:37 PM
I forgot to say, RJ, that he isn't getting his work all done. He is suppose to be catching up during the break but so far it hasn't really happened. That is why I am feeling like we need a schedule or tweaking of some sort. I don't know, I am at a loss. He loves to stay up late. I hate it because I don't really sleep well until all the lights in my house are off. Sometimes he is productive late, doing school work but many times he is just looking through skimming a book cause it was sitting there ( which really is a waste of time.) He seems to have a real issue with this and we have to hide books so they are out of his sight so he doesn't mindlessly read something that is sitting there, like his brother's novel that he has already read. He has his own stuff to read!!! I think there is a name for this some type of disorder or something. Seriously.

:)

Rachel Jane
01-03-2014, 01:41 PM
It may have been me in the past, Cindy. I change with their needs.

Cindy in CA
01-03-2014, 01:48 PM
It may have been me in the past, Cindy. I change with their needs.

Yes, I understand. That is what is so hard, it just keeps changing. I can't seem to keep up or figure any of it out. Sigh. I value your opinion and love to learn from your experience. Thanks!

Rebe
01-03-2014, 02:29 PM
My 17yo always eats after dinner. Now, he's a picky eater and sometimes doesn't eat enough dinner. :eyes: But he goes back for a bagel or cheese or something no matter what. If we eat at 6:00, there are about 6 hours before he goes to sleep. That's a very long time to go without eating.

My 12yo has a tendency to put on weight, so I am much more restrictive with his snacks (also he's younger, so I still have that control). I tell him, no, you can't have a bagel with peanut butter after dinner like your brother. You can have a carrot or an apple, though. I'm hoping that in a few years he won't have a weight issue and he'll be able to eat what he wants, but we'll see. (He's not fat, by any means -- just has more extra around the middle than my 3 beanpoles have).

So that's how we deal with the food issue. My dh wanted to say NO food after dinner, but this wasn't fair of him because he himself often needs a snack before bed. So he's relaxed on this as the kids have gotten older.

Nedra in California
01-04-2014, 01:24 AM
I have gone through this with 3 teenagers, and everyone I have talked with has also. When my oldest was a teenager we tried to enforce a bed time. She just laid in bed awake. We woke her early and lets just say everyone suffered. We did things differently with the next 2 teenagers and let them go by their natural clock. Best decision we ever made.

I have read many articles about this also stating it is totally normal.

My kids Dr. has told me she wishes the schools would adjust to this change teens go through. She believes high schoolers would fare much better.

We let the kids go to sleep when they were ready. They get up when they are ready. This worked wonderfully with all of them. They typically were starting school around 10:00/10:30 a.m., were in good moods, used their time wisely, and got everything done.

The opinion that if you don't train them now to rise early they will never do it when they are adults and have to begin their day earlier I have found to be totally untrue. We have watched them as young adults adjust to early work hours and class hours and do fine. My son goes through schedule changes also...will work closing one night and opening the next morning and he has been early to work for over 2 years. He has an incredible work ethic.

I look at it like this...I am a die hard morning person. I am up at 6:00 a.m. at the latest (usually much earlier). I am also in bed by 9:30-10:00. I would not function if I was forced to stay up late, and I would not sleep in to make up for the lost sleep. I would simply lose sleep and not function well. Anytime I have had to stay up late I have still woken at the same time...5:00/5:30 a.m. My natural clock just wakes me at that time, even if I go to bed at 2:00 a.m.

I know this is just one opinion...but it has worked out very well for us allowing them this natural time change as high schoolers. They are still in their rooms at 10:00/11:00, reading, watching something on TV, having down time. They wake up very pleasant and focused.

Cindy in CA
01-04-2014, 01:27 PM
Wow, Nedra, I want to live in your house with your teens! I totally agree with you regarding their natural time clocks and have read tons on it too. My issue is he will stay up crazy hours, the latest has been 3:30 am. The latest he has slept is 2:00pm. It gets dark at 5:00pm, so he has 3 hours of daylight. That just doesn't work. He has a 9:00 am class on Friday mornings and of course has to get up for church on Sundays.

I am hopeful to get him on a schedule of going to bed by 1:00am and getting up around 10 or 11. That would be okay...but if I let him sleep and do it on his rhythm it would be going to bed at 2:00 or later and sleeping until noon every day. Do you see how I need to make an adjustment somehow??

I feel like a horrible parent. I am struggling so much with my boys. And, I am sure, it is all my fault.

Cindy in CA
01-04-2014, 01:34 PM
[QUOTE=Nedra in California;1165774]



We let the kids go to sleep when they were ready. They get up when they are ready. This worked wonderfully with all of them. They typically were starting school around 10:00/10:30 a.m., were in good moods, used their time wisely, and got everything done.

.[/QU


My boys are not is such good moods doing school and would rather goof around all day. They manage their time horribly and waste it all day long. They get distracted easily and have a hard time being productive. They don't get everything done, that is very rare. I must be doing something terribly wrong. Maybe the should go to school.

Feeling like a totally homeschool failure.

Joy in Alabama
01-04-2014, 02:35 PM
:group: Cindy, you are not doing anything wrong. Perhaps YOUR children need a tighter schedule. All our kids are different. All our families are different. Not to say Nedra or anyone else is wrong, just to say THEIR family works one way,mine works a different way, perhaps yours works another. It's very good to hear different opinions and get different ideas, then decide if one of those will work for you. But even at that, we usually tweek those ideas to work for US.

You are not a hs failure! I've read your problems and answers for years and I know you're doing a GREAT job! You just have to figure out the solution to this particular problem. PS would just give you a NEW set of problems, perhaps worse than the ones you have now, IMHO. (See? Another opinion that you have to figure out whether it will work for you or not! :lol:) I'm praying right now you'll find an answer. Please don't beat yourself up anymore. :group:

ShayChristie
01-05-2014, 12:32 PM
Cindy, we've gone through sleep issues with our oldest for years. He's a night owl like his mama, but his mama can function in the morning. Okay, not super early, but I'm up by 8 and productive by 9. Nathaniel would sleep until 11am if we let him. I know because we did try it for awhile. And by then, he wants to eat breakfast, followed by lunch and then he's full and sluggish and by the time anythign gets going it's almost dinner and the end of the day and nothing gets done after dinner. :eyes:

He went to school the end of July and it is very regimented there. He's awake at 4am and on a field doing PT by 4:30am. Breakfast is at 6 and he's in classes by 8am, after a daily inspection. Yes, he chose this on his own and thrived there! He came home the beginning of December and I thought his clock had to have been reset after 5 months on that schedule! Nope. He was up to 1-2am every night, getting up was a pain for both of us and just a sack of potatoes most of the time! :eek:

He just went back yesterday so I'm wondering how this week will be for him. I asked him why he couldn't get up at 9 when he was used to getting up at 4? His response, I wasn't yelling at him and threatening him with extra PT. :eyes: Oh and he was in bed with lights out by 10 everynight and said he fell asleep almost immediately upon his head hitting the pillow.

So I really don't know the answer. Obviously he can do earlier to bed and very early to rise. It's just not his natural rhythm. Our only restriction was he needed to be up and productive by 9am and he agreed that was reasonable. Some days he did better than others, but on the not so great days, I woke him at 8:45 and let him know he was expected downstairs in 15 minutes.

Probably no help, but I understand. It can be so frustrating! And I have another one who is following in similar footsteps. My Benjamin is a night owl, but is better about getting up in the morning. He's able to balance them better, most of the time. :)

Cindy in CA
01-05-2014, 07:55 PM
Thank you Joy, you are sweet and kind.

I am trying to encourage a bedtime of midnight. He has yet to succeed with it, but is trying. I am encouraging him to be ready for bed by 11:00 pm and in bed at 12:00. He said he wasn't feeling tired at all last night at midnight so he read until 1:00. He was reading his history for school so that part is great! It was hard to get up at 9:00 am for church but he did it with minor complaining. Ideally, I am trying the in bed by midnight and up by 10 am. That gives him enough sleep. We start back tomorrow but he isn't home tonight, but I will talk to him and encourage the midnight bedtime the best I can. I don't know what else to do beside encourage the earlier bedtime. I am hoping the natural consequence of being tired and/or having a difficult time getting up in the morning will somehow help him remember to get to bed. He doesn't read or hang out in his room much so having him in his room by a certain time probably wouldn't work. I need to get him a good reading chair for his room and that might help. We start back tomorrow, so we will see how it goes.

Thanks!

:)

Rebe
01-05-2014, 09:30 PM
I am hoping the natural consequence of being tired and/or having a difficult time getting up in the morning

I think this is the key. I was thinking of this thread tonight. My ds has been on break for 2 weeks. He's been going to bed about 12 or 1:00 and getting up at noon or later. :eek: Today he was dragging, slogging around, didn't even get dressed (he got up at 1:00 -- I think the latest he's ever gotten up). I commented on how tired he seemed, and he told me that he slept 13 hours. He said, "It's funny. I think when I get too much sleep I'm even more tired!" I refrained from saying DUH ;) and I let him arrive at his own conclusions. If I had told him that would happen, it would have gone in one ear and out the other. But he figured it out for himself.

I remember how many things I had to figure out for myself. No one could tell me anything in my late teens. I guess I have to let my dc do some of that, too. Painful as that is (for me) sometimes.

Cindy in CA
01-05-2014, 10:31 PM
Very true, Rebe. I still have a hard head and have to learn the hard way many times!!!:eek: Nick acts like I am annoying with my advice and rules but after fighting me he ends up doing it and knowing it makes sense.... well, most of the time.

Praying for a decent week. I don't even expect a good one, decent is good enough for me at this point!!

:)