Teens seem to have an internal clock setting seldom understood by their parents. Some are night-owls that wake up around noon. Others go to bed on time but still want to sleep until noon. While your son or daughter might have adjusted to their own sleep schedule, it isn’t necessarily good for them. Lack of sleep isn’t just bad for health, it’s also detrimental when it comes to teens and driving. If you are looking for ways to combat a sleepy teen son or daughter, the following tips are for you:
Reduce distractions. Too many teens take their electronics to bed with them. Since sleep cycles might ebb and flow, there are natural times when your teen might wake during the night. Instead of trying to go back to sleep. They will instead get on their phone or tablet which robs them of needed shut-eye. Consider a new rule that requires all electronic devices be turned in before bed. It might be a fight, but your child needs their sleep and that fight is worth it. Problems with your son or daughter ignoring the rule? Set time-limit apps that make electronics unavailable at night.
Cut down on activities. Extracurricular activities and hours of studying have become the new norm for many a high school student. But how much is too much? Does your son or daughter need to play several sports, take up an instrument and have all honor classes? If this is their reality, then some things may need to change. Consider encouraging your son or daughter to pick one sport and cut back on the other extracurricular activities to help them get more sleep. One less sport won’t make or break their high school career.
Lights out! sometimes, parents become a little lax at enforcing bedtime. Teens are trying to become independent and parents want to help them by giving them space. While this is good in theory, it can hurt them physically if sleep is sacrificed in the name of independence. Consider enforcing bedtime on school nights and letting it slide on the weekends. Having a strict lights-out policy sets healthy boundaries for your son or daughter.
Teens might think they are invincible, but their chronic lack of sleep will become a problem when they get behind the wheel. Support your son or daughter in getting enough sleep. They will become better, safer drivers.