Having a hard time getting your teen/tween out of bed? It's completely natural. But there are some simple tips which may help!

Getting Your Teenager to Wake Up in the Morning – 7 Quick Tips

Overview: Wondering how to wake up a teenager? Or what time you should take him up? Or if you even SHOULD? Here are 7 tips for getting your teenager to wake up!

When my boys were little, I couldn’t figure out any way to keep them in bed after 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. Once they hit the tween years, however, they began sleeping in later and later in the morning. One year, it was hard to get them out of bed before 7 or 7:30. And over that summer, they began sleeping until 10 am if I let them.

Having a hard time getting your teen/tween out of bed? It's completely natural. But there are some simple tips which may help!

What’s going on?!?

To my surprise, I learned that this behavior is completely natural. As young people approach and enter puberty, their circadian rhythms, or “body clocks” shift. This means that most teenagers are unable to fall asleep before 11 pm, even if they are laying in bed for hours.

Should we even be waking up our teenagers?

Combine this information with the fact that most teenagers need a minimum of 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep each night. If our kids are laying in bed for hours before they’re able to fall asleep, and then we wake them up at 6 or 7 in the morning, they may not be getting enough sleep to feel rested – or to function well throughout the day.

There are many negative effects associated with our teens not getting enough sleep, such as:

  • Less alert
  • Unable to think clearly
  • Less able to remember or understand what they are being taught
  • Poor grades
  • Depression
  • Exhibit more ADHD symptoms
  • Obesity
  • Suicidal thoughts

Sleep deprivation can have serious side effects. In fact, you’re probably aware that it has been used as a method of torture for many years!

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Our teenagers’ bodies and minds are changing rapidly. They need their sleep. Because of this, we should consider pushing back the time that we start schoolwork in the morning. Allow them to start their lessons later than their younger brothers and sisters. And once they do start, you might want to begin with a gentle activity such as listening to a read-aloud book or allowing them to listen to an audiobook while eating breakfast. This will allow your teen’s mind to become more alert without being jolted awake in the morning.

Either that or allow your child to do something physically active to get their mind up and running. My boys often enjoy working out before they do anything else!

Should we always let our teenagers sleep in?

So, what about those times when we need out teens to get out of bed earlier in the morning or when we are struggling to get them to wake up anytime before noon, which just isn’t practical on a daily basis.

Getting Your Teenager to Wake Up in the Morning: 7 Quick Tips

Here are 7 Quick Tips for Getting Your Teenager to Wake Up in the Morning:

1 – Be careful about caffeine

Many teens rely on caffeine and/or sugar to wake themselves up and give them energy when they feel themselves dragging. The problem with using these substances to “wake up” is that the effects are fleeting and can leave the person feeling even worse after they wear off. Also, consuming caffeine after noon can interfere with a person’s sleep patterns, making their daytime sleepiness even worse.

2 – Vigorous Exercise

Be sure your child gets some vigorous physical exercise during the day. The more physically tired they are when it’s time for bed, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep without as much delay.

3 – Supplements

There are some natural supplements that can help a person to fall asleep more easily. Melatonin, Magnesium, chamomile tea, even a glass of warm milk can help your child to feel more drowsy and ready to go to sleep. I’ve been struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep for the last few years and Valerian Root has helped me to stay asleep more consistently.

Having a hard time getting your teen/tween out of bed? It's completely natural. But there are some simple tips which may help!

4 – Regular Bedtimes

Try to have your teen go to bed and wake up at the same time every day including weekends. This regular schedule helps our bodies to be more prepared for falling asleep at the desired time than if bedtimes change drastically from night to night.

5 – Wind Down at Night

Be sure to give your teen time to wind down at night.  A warm shower or bath with Epsom Salts works wonders. Also, consider having your child read a relaxing book before bed versus watching an exciting show on TV or playing an action-packed video game.

6 – Adjust the lighting

Try dimming the lights at night or closing the shades. Also, turn on bright lights in the morning. These simple cues will help your child’s body to get the signal that it’s time to go to sleep or time to wake up.

→ Related Content: 11 Ways to Motivate Your Teenage Son

7 – Give them something to look forward to

I’m sure you’ve noticed that if your child is going to do something exciting that day, they wake up fairly willingly. If your teen knows that he needs to start his schoolwork immediately upon waking up, you’ll have a harder time prying him out of bed than if he knows he has half an hour of free time before he needs to get started. Try to give him something exciting that will happen after he gets up even if that just means making him his favorite breakfast or letting him play a few minutes of his favorite app.  🙂

And when you do start homeschooling, you may want to ease into it with a morning-time routine rather than jumping right into Calculus or some other difficult subject that requires a lot of brainpower.

Getting teenagers to wake up in the morning can be difficult. But remember, this too shall pass. Once your teen makes it through this stage of life, he will naturally begin to wake up earlier again. Hopefully, knowing why he is having such a hard time waking up, and realizing that it’s normal, will make things a little bit easier to deal with in the mornings.

QUESTION: Do you struggle with getting your kids out of bed in the morning? Have you discovered any helpful tips that you could share with us? Please leave a comment below.

Having a hard time getting your teen/tween out of bed? It's completely natural. But there are some simple tips which may help!

18 thoughts on “Getting Your Teenager to Wake Up in the Morning – 7 Quick Tips”

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Good idea, Juhl. I’m just starting to use some essential oils… I’ll have to give this one a try! 🙂

  1. Lindsey in Alabama

    I’ve found for my boys (12 & almost 14) that the key to getting them going at a decent hour in the morning is to have breakfast nearly ready before I wake them up. I guess that kind of goes along with your “something to look forward to” point. It also doesn’t hurt their four younger siblings or me to get food in our bellies before 10am 🙂

  2. I love reading this article! I’ve struggled with the idea of waking my teen up or just letting her sleep. I think there needs to be some type of structure so having her at least go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday would be good. We do try to do that,most of the time anyway. I think a lot of people misunderstand the teen’s body and think “hey, they’re young, they can handle less sleep”, when actually the opposite is true.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! Yes, our teens’ need for sleep actually goes up for awhile. Their brains are completely reforming – not to mention all of the hormones they’re learning to deal with and the incredible amount of growth. All kids are unique – but it’s important for parents to at least be aware of their changing circadian rhythms before they get upset and blame their difficulty getting out of bed on pure laziness.

  3. So struggling with this!!! It is 1230 and I still can not get her out of bed. I work at home a lot and home school. If she could have social time mid morning with her homeschool friend no doubt this would help her get up. However they are on a different schedule and wont work anymore like it did at first. (Sigh) Thanks for the advice.

    1. I hope these tips help! Honestly, the best motivation I’ve been able to find for my boys to get out of bed is the pain of having to continue doing schoolwork later in the day than they would like to. They don’t want to sleep their morning away if they know that they’ll be doing schoolwork all afternoon and evening.

    2. im glad you said “she”! i have a teenager that wakes up at 12,1,2 even 3pm! I know its not laziness on her part but simply she does not want to deal with her school work. I went as far as removing her mattress! (“you don’t deserve a mattress cause you don’t know how to use it!”) she also has a very suborn streak! (like her father! Who said that??) I know its hormones. my other daughter cried a lot. my second daughter sleeps a lot. my third,i dunno. we’re not there yet. I just don’t want her to think this is acceptable behavior. prayer and time will tell. just have peace and know that God has this and us! xoxo

  4. Our 13 year-old son’s perfect day would be to sleep, then eat, then sleep some more…lol! Seriously, though, our “getting-up-at-10am” incentives range from waffles to 30 minutes of gaming BEFORE school, to having a friend sleepover. He generally goes to sleep around 11pm and wakes up at 10am. Our 11 year-old son is up at 8am, so we do his homework right away, because he’s the one who wants to be outside all day. We usually start our older son’s school at 11am. When all else fails, and he just won’t wake up, I give him 1 minute to get up or he loses his phone for the entire day….works every time. I remember both of my brothers going through this and recognize that it’s temporary, they’re not being lazy – this too shall pass! A little mercy and kindness, some laughter and a lot of love and encouragement go a long way during this phase. BTW, both of my brothers are productive, hard-working, respected members of their communities. Hope this helps!!

    1. Yes! This is very encouraging. Thanks for sharing this with us! I’ve seen this happen with my boys as well. Now that they’re 15 1/2 and almost 17, they’re starting to wake up earlier than they were. I’m glad I was able to let them get the sleep they needed while they needed it. Such a blessing!

  5. I require my 15 year-old to getup at 8:15. When he complains, I remind him he could just head out to the bus stop at 6:45 instead. He can’t help but acknowledge that his wake up time isn’t so bad after all. Also, if he fails to make it to the breakfast table on time, that night he has to go to bed at the same time as his 6 year old brother.

    1. That’s true. And 8:15 isn’t that early. But honestly, I’m glad I wasn’t too worried about my boys getting a little bit of extra sleep when they went through that stage because it was much less stressful for all of us. And now that they’re on the other side, and are waking up earlier by their choice, they don’t seem to have been harmed from getting that extra sleep for a few years.

  6. This post made me take a look at my teen years and I see where sleep deprivation contributed to my troubles! I danced at least 3 hours everyday and sometimes as much as 6 hours during rehearsal season. We would get home around 9:30, do homework and wash clothes and then I would lie in bed and cry because as tired as I was I couldn’t fall asleep. Then it was back up at 7 to do the same, everyday. Needless to say, my grades suffered, and I was a classic troubled teen- with suicidal thoughts to boot 🙁 So thankful that I survived and have the choice to do life differently for my 6 boys. 🙂

    1. Oh, Katy, that must have been so difficult. Yes, we wonder why some teens can be so surly and depressed. I’m sure that lack of sleep contributes to the problem. I’m glad to hear that you’re using your own experience to make things better for your sons!

  7. I am a teenager, and can take anything and everything in the world. I still am not able to go to bed early. When I do go to bed early, I still sleep in till 12. My mom says it’s normal, but I don’t like it!

    1. In a few more years you’ll start to wake up earlier. It’s just one of those things that happens at your stage in life. If you want to get up earlier, ask your mom to start waking you up and you can train yourself to begin waking up earlier. Have her start with 11 am or 10 am. Also, try jumping right out of bed rather than lingering. When I have a hard time waking up, I almost launch myself out of bed. That helps me to wake up faster than laying there and thinking about it. 🙂

  8. Complete sleep is a natural detox to the brain. A person, who is lacking sleep has a tough and easily getting into trouble in action, the possibility of getting stress, and absent of mind.

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