Teens and sleeping

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sara PA, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    That was an interesting Newsweek. Not only the Quirky Kids article, they also have Teens and Sleeping.
  2. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    DS wants to stay up late because he knows his friends do, but he knows he doesn't function on less than 10 hrs. sleep. And just because he's homeschooled is no reason to sleep past 8 AM.

    He's always required a lot of sleep, between 10-12 hrs., once he got past the 3.5 hrs. at a time that we endured until he was 4.5 yrs. old.

    So it's an ongoing thing, but it seems to be less of an issue as time goes on. Could this be maturity? Or is he actually learning? :rofl:

    But as part of his training in general healthy living, getting enough sleep is just as important as his diet in how well he behaves and his general attitude. He's coming to realize this, I hope.

    Pam R.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks Sara, I'll check it out. Anything that is quirky is my kid(well both kids actually)
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That was very interesting, Sara. Thank you. I'm not sure if we get the US edition of Newsweek in Australia - a lot of magazines are modified (and not necessarily for the better) once they dip below the equator.

    The checklist was good. I was a bit alarmed at the reference to smoking or chewing tobacco - maybe our draconic legislation down here has borne fruit after all. As for driving after 11 pm - they're bringing in even stricter laws for our P plate drivers, so they've got to have a darn good reason (such as driving home from a job) which is REGISTERED with police. And no more than one passenger. Not sure if it's legislation yet, but it's well on the way. Our P plate drivers - the kids here get their Learners permit at 16, they can't get their P (provisional) before 17. The P is red for the first year, then green for the next year. I think they're increasing this, so Ps will last for more than 2 years. This will mean you have to be at least 19 with a spotless record before going on to a full licence. No alcohol is permitted AT ALL on Ls or Ps.

    Each one of these restrictions has been brought in after research showed a link between NOT having these things in place, and a higher accident rate in under-25 drivers.

    So at least in the Aussie experience - yes, the evidence is there.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 has been especially tired. She does get enough sleep (in terms of hours per day, for her age group) but it's just not enough. She has told me she wants to go see a doctor about this, ASAP.

    Back to the early starts - Aussie high schools start at 830 or 8.45 am. Some final year students take extra classes in some subjects, which simply don't fit into the school curriculum. Depending on what is agreed on between students and teacher, these classes can be before school (starting an hour early) or they can be on sports afternoons. I remember in my final year of high school, I took physics as an extra elective. At first we trialled the early start, but too many of us were just too tired. There were only six in the class across two grades, we did have a fair bit of wiggle room. Just as I'd adapted to the early start, we switched to the first hour of our sports afternoon, which worked a lot better for us. Just as our brains were fogging from an overdose of physics our class would finish and we would all pile into the teacher's car and head for the squash court to bash a ball really hard (reminiscent of sub-atomic particle theory).
    Definitely, we did a lot better with the later start.

    Our exams - final year high school get state-wide exams, every student in the state (private schools as well as state-based) has the same timetable to follow. And Day 1 of our final year exams was also Day 1 of Daylight Saving - for our body clocks, the exam was starting at 8 am, not 9 am. We had to be there half an hour earlier, so a lot of us were really struggling.
    These days, daylight saving now starts several weeks earlier, so the students have (hopefully) already adapted to it before the exams hit. These are really serious exams - uni entrance, future work prospects, school graduation etc all rolled into one. It's cruel to have to get up extra early, even if you know every other student is having to do it too. Some cope better than others.

    Thanks again, Sara.

  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Or does he want to stay up late because he's in the age group for whom that's physiologically normal and thus sleeping past 8 AM so that he can get a full 10 hours of sleep is a perfectly logical thing to do.

    When my son was home full time, I didn't care what his sleep/wake schedule was just so he got at least 7-8 (and hopefully more) hours of sleep each night (or day, as the case was for a while). Amount, not timing, was the issue for me.
  6. jamrobmic

    jamrobmic New Member

    It's illegal for anyone under 18 to use or purchase tobacco here in the U.S. as well, but that doesn't mean it stops all teens from using tobacco, even if they're easy child's. husband and I have never smoked (well, husband did in his teens, but that was long before difficult child came along), we do not allow anyone who does smoke to smoke in our house or our cars, and we have talked to our son many times about the dangers of smoking. He got caught with tobacco at school and had to complete a tobacco education program. He got caught again and had to pay the fine himself. He is still a smoker. My niece grew up in a house where both her parents smoked; she doesn't smoke. Go figure.

    As for teens and their sleep cycles, difficult child was unable to get to sleep before midnight or 1:00 a.m. while in high school, no matter how early he got up or how tired he was. He still was able to get up for school without much problem. Now he can't get to sleep early to save his life, and he can't get up early to save it, either. He routinely sleeps 10-12 hours a night (well, day, since he doesn't go to sleep any more until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m.). It has severely impacted his ability to work, because he just can't get up at a normal time. He's tried staying up for a couple of days to try and get tired enough to go to sleep at a normal time and get up at a normal time. It hasn't worked.

    He finally did take our advice and got a third shift job; I don't know if he'll ever be able to work "normal" hours.
  7. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    Originally Posted By: Sara PA
    Or does he want to stay up late because he's in the
    age group for whom that's physiologically normal and
    thus sleeping past 8 AM so that he can get a full 10
    hours of sleep is a perfectly logical thing to do.

    I don't think so, because left to himself he's asleep by 9:30. We've discovered that he functions a whole lot better, the more sleep he gets before midnight. He may get 9 hrs. after midnight, having stayed up at a friend's house, but he totally non-functional for a day or 2 after. Nevermind the behavior is atrocious.

    We've also discovered that if he keeps meals and sleeping close to a regular schedule, he functions better and his behavior is much better. His sleep especially tends to get very messed up, when he sleeps irregular hours too often.

    He's really not a night owl. :whew:

    Pam R.
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Myself, easy child and difficult child all suffer from headaches. difficult child more severe. What the neurologist told every one of us is that you MUST keep a regular sleep pattern. Number of hours slept is not as important as the pattern. If you go to bed at 9pm and get up at 9am, it is important that you keep that pattern. Staying up later, getting up sooner or vice versa can be a cause for headaches. Also, breakfast is very important.

    So...I saw him two weeks ago, and he told me this. (not the first time and I have heard it all before with kids) But..tell me, what is a sleep schedule? I work midnight to noon. If I have appointments or errands to run I may not get home until late afternoon. If difficult child has baseball at 5pm, I get very few yours to sleep. And...when exactly would breakfast be? Should I be eating breakfast when I get home? Or would that be my lunch? Could be my dinner since I sleep through that.
    On my 4 days off, I turn into a day person. Sleep a lot that first day, but up early and a normal day person.

    difficult child tries to stay up late because his friends do(online). but he is very tired. Tries to sleep late because his friends do, but he is up early. (9am weekends). When he stays at a friends house they stay up all night. I KNOW he doesn't like that but that is what everyone else does. Oh...exception..we don't allow that at our house. difficult child doesn't want friends to sleep over because we do not allow all nighters.

    I tend to agree that sleep patterns, bed time and awake time are important.
  9. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    Having odd work times makes keeping sleep regular very difficult. My guess regarding breakfast is it should be complete and within an hour of waking from a minimum of 4 hrs. sleep. Lunch would be the meal eaten at work. Dinner would be eaten when you get home. If you have errands, perhaps a snack with protein right after work could tide you until dinner.

    For us a regular sleep schedule means quiet time (no TV/vids, computer, music, physical activity) after 7 PM. In bed to read or draw by 8:30 and hopefully asleep by 9:30.

    Waking is between 7:00 - 8:00 AM most days. Breakfast must be eaten within 1 hr. of his feet hitting the floor. Breakfast must include enough protein, a complex carb and possibly fruit or veg.

    DS is much the same, staying up at friends' houses. Here they must be in bed by 9:30 and no more noise/talking after 10:30. Because of this, DS doesn't like to have other kids sleep over either.

    Because I also have sleep issues and am a very light sleeper, this is as lenient as I'm willing to be, regarding sleepovers. Also because I do not want to put up with his resulting behaviors from lack of sleep.

    Pam R.