Our teen just found out this weekend that she will have one of her most demanding classes, AP U.S. History, at 7:30 a.m. Say your prayers for us!
It's not the teen's fault that she doesn't want to get up in the mornings -- it's biology. Up till about 10 years of age, children wake up refreshed and ready for their day. But then pre-teens begin inching forward in their circadian rhythms, and they are no longer sleepy around 9 or 10 p.m. Studies have shown that teens need as much or more sleep than they did as children. And a study in the current issues of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (abstract here)suggests that the simple change of starting first period at 8:30 allows teens to get more sleep (because many even went to bed a bit earlier); suffer less from sleepiness during the school day; and cut down significantly on both depression and day-to-day irritation.
Of course, it isn't easy to change schedules and times and still fit everything in. But maybe it is a major hassle worth considering.
Meanwhile, please, every morning starting in September, send good thoughts our way.