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 I would tell other teens not to romanticize or dramatize the night. It’s quiet and you can read and think, but then you pay for it the next day.



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