How to Get Your Teen to Wake Up Earlier

Teenagers sleep A LOT.

And they need to! Teens, with their ever developing bodies and brains, need at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night. They tend to function better at night than in the morning. But even with all of this, it is important for your teens to function and participate in the mornings at your house. So if your teen needs some help in waking up at a more respectable time, here are a few tips. (You'll also find my tips in Mental Floss's "5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person.")

How anxiety plays into this.

Frequently, my teens with anxiety experience difficulty with sleep, which leads to difficulty in waking up early, or feeling rested enough to be productive in the morning. So, it is very important for your teenager to assess what other emotions are playing into their difficulties in falling or staying asleep. 

Five tips for your teen:

  1. Set an alarm to FALL asleep. Having a set bed time helps you stay responsible to yourself, instead of letting yourself get caught up in a book or Netflix and avoid going to sleep.
  2. Practice yoga or meditation before bed time. Help your body relax and still your mind before bed time, so that you don't stay awake with a flurry of thoughts racing as you try to sleep.
  3. Wake up early in increments. If you normally wake up at 9, set the alarm to 8:30 for a week, then 8, then 7:30. Don't jump from 9 to 6 am. It will be much harder to maintain.
  4. Keep a schedule on weekends, instead of reverting back to sleeping in. You won't want your body and brain to re-acclimate to sleeping in and snoozing.
  5. Keep a journal or open your phone to track your anxiety, anger, or depression levels each day, and see if these impact your need to sleep or stay up late. once you can find the patterns, its easier to address and change the problems.

If you need more tips, or if you're curious to hear more about how anxiety in teens can impact their sleep, reach out to Kelsey at compassionatecounselingstl@gmail.com. Kelsey works with clients in St. Louis, Kirkwood, Brentwood, Webster Groves, Town and Country, and surrounding areas.