Teens like to sleep. A lot. Adolescents need a significant amount of sleep at this time of their lives to help them grow, but bad sleep schedules can be problematic for their health. Here are some ways to help your teen become a morning person—while still ensuring they get enough sleep.
Set an Alarm
Setting an alarm for the same time every morning helps your body adjust to a new schedule. If you want to wake up at 7 a.m. for school, set your alarm for that time everyday—even on the weekends. If you’re a snoozer, set your alarm a littler earlier to give yourself that extra time to wake up. Same goes for bedtime. Try to get to sleep around the same time every night. That way your body will know when it’s time to start winding down.
Avoid Nighttime Stimulants
It’s hard to wake up in the morning, especially if you’re staying up late. To get to bed at a decent time, avoid stimulants such as caffeine (coffee, tea and soda) and processed sugars a few hours before bed. If you like a warm drink before bed, try some herbal or caffeine-free tea or warm milk and honey.
Image: Linh Nguyen
Use an App
There are lots of apps you can download on your phone or tablet that help you wake up in the morning. These include different types of alarms, such as the sunrise alarm that slowly wakes you up out of deep sleep, or the sleep cycle app that tracks your sleep. These apps can help you see if you’re getting enough sleep and ensure you’re getting out of bed in the morning.
Change Your Schedule
Changing your schedule can help you become a morning person. Take all your “nighttime” activities and schedule them for the morning, instead. If you usually work out after dinner, go for a run in the morning before school. Do your homework for the next day in the morning instead of the night before. Having things to do will help you get out of bed and be productive. Once you realize how great this feels, it will be easy to wake up when the alarm goes off.
Leave the Blinds Open
Letting in some light in the morning can help wake us up naturally. The light helps to slowly wake us up from a deep sleep without an alarm—although you’ll probably still want to set one just in case. Pull the blinds back a smidge so you’ll be less startled when the buzzer does go off.
Gradually work these changes into your routine—you don’t have to do them all at once. See what works for you and what doesn’t and make any adjustments that you think will be best to help your teen get on the morning train.
Feature Image: lauren rushing