Teens and Sleep

I recently purchased Tell Your Time by Amy Andrews {a steal at $2.99 with code Spring12, btw}, and I have been going through and figuring out where I need to schedule my time in order to accomplish my goals.

One of the last steps is to grid in a rough idea of your schedule. Well, one of the first things to put on the grid is sleep – so that you don’t accidentally forget to schedule it! This is definitely an area where we need help.

Monkey and Rex Sleeping {Pre- the teen sleep crisis} Aren’t they sweet?

Lately, my monkey seems to be sleeping the day away. Now, granted – we are also going to bed later at night because of other commitments. So, my mommy guilt kicked in overtime, and I started researching exactly how much sleep teenagers are supposed to need. I seemed to remember reading that they needed more sleep, so I figured we were going to need to start going to bed earlier to get that extra shut-eye.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that according to several sites out there, teens’ circadian rhythm actually changes through puberty, and they turn into night owls – where they naturally go to bed later and sleep in later. {Well, they would sleep in later if they didn’t have to make it to school so early.} In fact, I only found one site that disagreed, but truthfully, I found their argument more along the lines of “since they’re able to function on less sleep, that must mean it’s ok.”

In fact, it’s becoming so widely recognized, that some public schools are actually changing the time that high schools begin in the morning to accommodate their new sleep patterns, but even with the change, they still may not be getting enough sleep. What a great opportunity we have in homeschooling! I can let their natural sleep patterns emerge.

But, first things first – I need to figure out how long their sleep needs are {the average ranges from 8.5 – 11 hrs!} in order to plan the rest of the day – not to mention, paying off the sleep debt that we’ve all built up. {Bet you didn’t know that you could catch up on sleep – not all at once, mind you, but you can catch up.}

So, for the next several weeks, we will all go to bed at the same time {not as each other, but the same actual time on the clock} each night. It will probably be around 11pm – midnight for the kids because that’s when they are naturally getting tired – and, then we’ll sleep until we have gotten enough sleep that night.

Apparently, if you do this for a couple of weeks, you can actually get caught up on your sleep as well as figure out how much sleep you actually need. Once we have that number, I’ll be better able to draft out a schedule to help keep us on track toward our goals instead of letting life just happen to us. {Seriously, get the book Tell Your Time – you won’t be disappointed!}

How long do your teens need to sleep to feel completely rested? Tell me about it in the comments!


Disclaimer: if you do decide to purchase Tell Your Time, I am an affiliate and will make a small commission. Thank you for your support!

4 Thoughts on “Teens and Sleep

  1. Apparently they need a lot and this part about the circadian rhythms has totally been true at my house. They go to bed about 1:00 a.m. and sleep until noonish. They want to go to sleep earlier and they try. They will lay down and listen to an audio book and stay awake a lot longer than they want to. They seem not to be able to help it.

  2. Michelle on May 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm said:

    Your bedtime amazes me!! I am such a pile of goo at midnight! Just saying! 😉

  3. My kids are still tweens, but they pass out around 9pm and rise around 5:30am. I, on the other hand, need a 12 hour reset every quarter of the year because I’m just more sleepy. But after that reset, I’m good to go for at least 2 months before I run down again. You have to consider that what we eat has so much to do with this amount of sleep too. Yucky food produces slugs around here. Healthy food is helpful for bouncy, trouncey kids (and momma). Thanks for the heads up about sleep.

  4. Karen Loe on May 18, 2012 at 2:45 am said:

    My daughter, aged 15, goes to sleep at about 2am, wakes at about noon. She’s happier and more productive when she can sleep her body’s natural hours…wish my parents had allowed it!


    Peace, Karen

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