It's no secret that teens love their sleep, and lockdown has given most teens an opportunity to sleep a lot more.
Having plenty of sleep is healthy, especially for teenagers who require more sleep than adults and many of whom have been stressed with school exams and COVID-19. That said, it's important to keep the times you wake and go to sleep fairly constant, and with our tips on ways to get your teen out of bed, a healthier sleep cycle can easily be achieved.
Having the luxury of waking up naturally by the sun and not feeling the pain of the early morning alarm clocks is something we should encourage and enjoy as much as we can while lockdown is still happening. However sometimes this can make us more inclined to stay in bed longer than we need, so some encouragement is needed to separate ourselves from our pillows. We've listed some positive ways to encourage teens to get out of bed and to create a healthy wake-up routine. As parents, we can find ourselves getting frustrating when our teens refuse to awake from their slumber. Although the frustration is usually a perfectly natural response to their refusal to get up on time, we find that positive encouragement is more effective. That's why in this article we have listed positive ways and conversations to help you teenagers keep to a healthy sleep routine as best they can. It won't be long until they will have a place of their own or at university, and they will need to need to get themselves up using their own encouragement, so it's best to try and install that mentality when they're teens. These tips can be used for when your teen goes back to school, and lockdown is a perfect time to practice them to see what works best for your own kids.
Discuss With Them The Positive Facts And The Importance Of Sleep
The first thing to remember is that teenagers do require more sleep than us adults, around 9 hours, so be compassionate with your teen and understand their need for longer periods of sleep. Just start by having a chat with them to let them know the incredible advantages of a good night's sleep. This might at first seem counterproductive since you're trying to encourage them to get out of bed not stay in bed; but if you explain that a good night sleep requires a routine and less sleeping in until the afternoon, then they may start to understand the health benefits of listening to their alarm clock and getting up at the same time each morning. Also listen to them to see if they have any reason for not wanting to get out of bed on time in the morning, as your teen may well have some helpful insight on what's causing their behaviour.
Make A Delicious Breakfast
If facts about sleep don't encourage your kids to get out of bed then the delicious smell of bacon might do the trick instead! Making a delicious family breakfast is a great way to introduce some routine and may even encourage your teen to get up on time. Plus, it's a great start to the day having all the family sat around the table together. We appreciate this will be difficult to do every day, especially when their school reopens and parents are back to work, but is perfect as an occasional treat for you and your teen. Check out these easy brunch ideas for some inspiration.
Give Them A Task To Do In The Morning
If you have any jobs that need doing around the house then ask your teen to help with them in the morning. You can reward them with a payment or a gift for motivation so they start getting a feel of work. If they stay in bed they'll know that they've missed out on a chance to earn themselves a treat, a bit like the world of work. It might seem unimaginable, but there's a chance your teen may be really missing their lessons at school. So by giving your teen some light tasks to do, your teen will start to feel a healthy amount of responsibility without feeling stressed.
Download A Useful Sleep App
One of our favourite apps is Sleep Cycle. This really powerful free app analyses your sleep and has an alarm clock that makes waking up a lot easier. This one is great for parents too and can be used when your teen goes back to school. You simply put it by your bed at night and it monitors how deep you are sleeping. It provides you with an easy-to-read graph in the morning and wakes you up at the most perfect time. The alarm clock sounds are much more gentle and gradual so it helps you wake up in a much more natural way.
Find A Nicer Alarm Clock
Waking up in the morning can be a stressful experience. The reason for this could simply be the type of alarm your teen is using. The solution could be as simple as getting them to change the alarm sound on their phone, or it could be worth investing in a new alarm clock. The bedroom should be a place of tranquillity so a loud, frightening alarm clock isn't the best way to build an association between the bedroom and peacefulness. You might find that a sunrise alarm clock, that uses light to wake you up, makes a good replacement.
Bedtime Rituals To Help Sleep
You might be wondering what the best time is for your teenager to go to bed is. During puberty, our body clocks change and sleep-schedules shift quite dramatically so, even though teenagers will find themselves needing around 9 hours of sleep, they will also find that they won't want to fall asleep until much later. Every teenager is different so there's no need to be concerned if a friend or family member is going to bed a lot earlier or later than your teen. Your teen will know their own sleep patterns more than anyone, so it's good to trust their judgement too.
We can make getting out of bed in the morning a lot less painful by tweaking some of the things we do the night before. We know that teens are becoming more independent and this is a positive thing. However, most of us will know that this might come with some stubbornness and difficulty to encourage a healthier sleep schedule. Just remember it's better to let them find out for themselves than having a screaming battle with them about these things. Just give them positive compassionate advice and they'll choose to follow it or not. When they start to feel a bit groggy from the late nights, they'll start following your advice in their own time...
There are lots of ways that diet can affect our quality of sleep. Make sure you try and get them to avoid caffeine and sugary snacks before bed as these items will make them stay up longer. Spicy food and cheese also have an effect. Some good foods to eat before bed include bananas, oats and almonds if they're hungry. If they fancy something sweet, honey is better than sugary sweets.
We all know that trying to take a device away from a teenager is like trying to remove Excalibur from the stone. So much like the above, treat this as helpful, positive information and guidance as opposed to an instruction. Much like diet, the amount of time they spend on their devices, especially before bed, can affect sleep quality. Instead of phones and laptops, try and encourage half an hour of reading or listening to some peaceful music before turning the lights off.
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Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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