to the sleep-wake timing that’s needed. Or have your teen try using eyeshades (earplugs may help, too, if a lot of noise comes in from outside).

  • To help with the morning wake-up process, urge your teen to pull up the shades, turn on the lights in the bathroom, and let the light tell her brain that it’s the morning and time to wake up. All the lights don’t need to be turned on at the same time—that may be too traumatic—but by the time your teen has been up for 7 to10 minutes all the lights should be on. You might even want to encourage your teen to go outdoors if the sun is out, perhaps to bring in the newspaper or let out the dog.

  • Encourage your teen to take some physical steps to aid the wake-up process, including washing her face with cool water and actually running to the kitchen for breakfast. Physical activity in combination with light exposure is a great morning cue to the brain to synchronize its circadian clock with the times you have determined are optimal.

  • If waking up is particularly difficult, your teen might benefit from using a light box or wearing a light visor while getting ready for school in the morning. See the following chapter for more about light aids, where to find them, and how to use them.


“I follow a regimen. On school nights I always lay out my clothes for the following day, so I can just get up and go. I also try to get up within the same 15-or 20-minute period in the morning. I don’t like to use the snooze button because it doesn’t go off again for 15 minutes, but sometimes I’ll reset the alarm for another five minutes. I also don’t like turning on too many lights too fast.

Strategy 6: Set Up a Realistic Homework Routine—and Eliminate All-Nighters

One of the most challenging time-management tasks teens face every day is getting their homework done. Here are some tips to help them do it without doing themselves—or their families—in:

  • Urge your teen to alternate exercise or break time with study

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