One Teen Says …

My night-owl schedule used to be so bad that I would stay up late, wake up early for school, feel tired all day, then take a nap when I got home. Because of the nap I couldn’t fall asleep at a decent hour at night and kept repeating the same thing over and over. The cycle was very hard to break.

  • Encourage your teen to exercise after school or early in the evening. Being physically active too close to bedtime can result in revving you up instead of helping you wind down. However, a few minutes of easy stretching or yoga exercises right before bed can help promote relaxation and sleep.


The National Sleep Foundation reminds teens who find it hard to work an exercise routine into their day that they can exercise while doing something else. For example, they can walk on a treadmill while reading or listening to music or do situps and lift free weights while watching TV.

Strategy 10: Recognize and Stop Enabling Poor Sleep Habits

If your teen is falling off the sleepiness scale, a careful evaluation of her schedule will help make the need for sleep more clear. The following suggestions will then help to make more and better sleep a reality:

  • Have your teen keep a sleep log—a record of daily bed and wake-up times (see below for the one my patients use)—for a week or two, including at least two weekends. (Research shows that teens ideally need between eight and a half and nine and a half hours of sleep per night, and the log will show how greatly your teen is sleep

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