No matter how much I lecture about bedtime, my teen stays up late every night. She’s a zombie the next day. How can I get her to turn in at a reasonable hour?
Don’t blame your teen for her night owl tendencies—blame biology. Teens experience a natural phase delay that pushes them to stay up later then sleep later, which is hardly convenient when they need to wake up for early classes. Plus, parents are often shocked to learn that teens need more sleep than they did in middle school—more than nine hours a night. Though your teen may have outgrown bedtime stories and a nightly tuck-in, you can still encourage a reasonable bedtime.
Set a power-down hour for all devices. The glow of smartphones, tablets, laptops and televisions interferes with the brain’s production of melatonin, so late-night screen time can leave your teen feeling wired, not tired.
Wake your teen at an agreed-upon hour (no later than 10 a.m.), even on weekends. The morning wake-up call programs the body clock for the rest of the day, so getting an earlier start will help your teen feel ready for bed come nightfall.
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