Emsellem, Dr. Helene A., M.D., Whiteley, Carol. "7 Tips from Teens: How Parents Can Talk with Their Teens About the Importance of Sleep." Snooze... or Lose!: 10 "No-War" Ways to Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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Snooze…Or Lose!: 10 “No-War” Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Sleep Habits
bed, not signing off from Instant Messaging or brushing your teeth or anything, by 10:00, you should be fine to wake up at 6:00.
Do I feel great all day long? My goal is to wake up every morning and feel good and not be yawning all day. During the school year I almost never wake up feeling refreshed because it is just too early, but I do go through the day not feeling sleepy, so I’m happy with that. If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m exhausted and unhappy.
Q: How did you figure out how much sleep you needed? Did your parents make it a rule that you had to get at least eight hours, or did you set up your own schedule?
A: Everyone has different sleep needs; some kids need more and some kids need less than others. I need more than some of my friends because I’m more active than they are. It all depends on who you are and what you do. But for a lot of teens it’s just fun to stay up at night.
But my revelation about how much sleep I need wasn’t forced on me by my mother—though I will say that all the years of getting the same speech from her every night about sleep somehow imprinted in my brain, so I guess that was part of it. But basically after a while I just realized on my own that around eight hours of sleep was what was healthy for me and necessary for my body.
Some of it I learned the hard way. Once I played in a tennis match that was hours away, meaning I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get there on time, which basically sucked. I thought I’d be fine if I got somewhere around six or seven hours of sleep—I thought a first-round match shouldn’t take that much energy, plus I had gotten a whole lot of sleep for a couple of nights before. I was wrong, completely wrong. I ended up playing in a three-set match, and each match took about
Another Teen Says …
“A bunch of my friends think it’s very romantic to stay up late. But Iwould tell other teens not to romanticize or dramatize the night. It’squiet and you can read and think, but then you pay for it the nextday.”