Your Parenting Info Sign Up

How to Switch Back Into School Mode

by Sam P. | January 1st, 2013 | Teen Perspective, Teens

happy studentWhen holiday break stumbles around the corner everyone gets excited.  And of course during break you don’t have school so there’s no need to go to bed at your usual time.  Most teenagers, me included, will stay up to the puny hours of the following morning texting friends and Facebooking, only to sleep in till noon the next day.  And I have to admit I am one of the biggest contestants of this catastrophe.  This past week I have had numerous oovoo calls lasting till close to three in the morning.  Once we even hit four a.m! But as fun as it is to stay up all night talking with friends, it creates a terrible habit for when school is back in session.

There are numerous ways to get yourself used to going to bed and waking up earlier.  I think the most used way is to just keep doing this into the first days of school because you are used to it and cannot fall asleep.  The only thing is you still have to get up the next morning for school.  I usually find getting only three to five hours of sleep for a couple days in a row wipes me out, and if anything I end up in bed earlier than I was before holiday break.  I will admit, this plan will work every time because I know very few people who can function with three hours of sleep, but that is where it fails.  You can’t function with three hours of sleep, especially if you play sports.  You may possibly have the worst day in the history of your life if you try this method, because you will be falling asleep in class constantly and may possibly pass out from lack of energy at your sports practice.  Not a good way to start off  the school year I’d say.

You can try going to bed at your normal time, but chances are you won’t be able to fall asleep because your internal clock isn’t used to sleeping this early at night.  If you are going to do this I would suggest not bringing your phone, laptop, iPod, iPad, etc. to bed with you, because you will be tempted to use it when the insomnia monster comes creeping into your bed.  When using this method I find drinking a hot cup of milk or tea (decaf) is very soothing and will help you go to sleep sooner.  Even if it is decaf, coffee is not a good idea before bed because of something called the placebo effect.  When you drink coffee it usually wakes you up due to the caffeine.  Even if it is decaf, your body is used to getting a jolt of energy when it drinks coffee, so you will wake up either way, because even if your mind knows it doesn’t have caffeine, your body believes it does.

Lastly, you can just gradually start going to bed sooner during vacation, but that’s no fun.  And usually it cancels itself out due to staying up to the wee hours of the night on  New Year’s Eve.

  1. I have this issue with my 12 year old son. At this point he has a bedtime of midnight even on weekends during the school year to avoid some of the mentioned issues. I may become more lienient as he gets older.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective from a teens point of view.

Comments on How to Switch Back Into School Mode