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Child & Teen Health

Why “sleeping in” on weekends isn’t good for teens

January 11, 2013
  • By Dennis Rosen, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

About the Author

photo of Dennis Rosen, MD

Dennis Rosen, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dennis Rosen, M.D. is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist at at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is the associate medical director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders. He is also an assistant professor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Dennis Rosen, MD


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Wood Railing
March 7, 2013

The poster who advocates for starting school later seems oblivious to the reason teens are sleepy in the morning: they stay up too late. Waking up with the sun and going to sleep at night fall is ingrained in human DNA but the ever-increasing use of artificial lights and now all manner of screens has disrupted these patterns.

February 25, 2013

“If you sleep in at weekends, you get less sleep on Monday and Tuesday,” says Dr. Trock. If your teen needs to catch up on sleep, encourage him to take an afternoon nap – but don’t let him sleep long enough or late enough to disrupt that evening’s sleep.

February 11, 2013

Definitely sleeping patterns affect moods. If I am up late a few nights in a row I become very irritable!

Tratamiento problemas sueño Alicante
February 7, 2013

This loss of sleep on weekdays, may end up causing a progressive reduction of the number of hours of continuous, foram dream if only an hour a day represents a cumulative deficit seproduce not recover more than the weekend try many more hours sleep, on the contrary, during adolescence is the time when various hypothesized that the biological clock of personal suffering an adjustment, and it is at this stage of life, where it is more important to focus on some good Sleep habits and above all, keep them also during Saturdays and Sundays. It is essential to get padrespara involvement.

Daniel Tukavkin
February 5, 2013

Your points on how to help to parent teens to sleep properly are valid but unfortunately I don’t think they’ll actually work. The Saturday sleep in is pretty much required after teens go out on Friday night and maybe a Sunday sleep in for a big night Saturday.

Teens are doing more and more crazy things such as drinking, drugs, partying harder and with the easy accessibility of newer ‘safer’ stimulant drugs such as Provigil I don’t see this slowing down, in fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed to speed up.

It’s great to live in a world of ‘perfect sleep cycles’ but the reality is our culture is going to a full speed lifestyle. One type in google to buy Provigil and boom you get site after site of how to get it without a prescription

Aside from that, the parental modelling of positive sleep cycles is imperative for your teens to even half listen to you. Are you yourself going to bed early and getting up early or are you burning the midnight oil? Do you wakeup looking like a zombie until you get a double espresso (or a Provigil) into you?

Good article and great actionable content, but I doubt it’s effectiveness in the real world.

My dad brought me up with a glass of water on the face. That works. You learn real fast! (I can still wakeup when someone walks into my room silently, like I have special ESP radar or something)

rubel rahman
January 28, 2013

Thank you for this article, I truly appreciate it. I can’t say I have experienced this disorder on a continual basis, however, I have one distinct memory of feeling extremely depressed upon discovering another gloomy day on a weekend that I was expecting sunshine. I have such a vivid recollection because the depressed feeling was so powerful that it really concerned me. I had never experienced that before. I have since moved to Phoenix Arizona where the sun shines over 90% of the time and I haven’t experienced that SAD feeling since.

I am also a practitioner of Pilates and can’t agree more in it’s benefits with the mind, emotion, and body.

Thanks again,

Onuobasi Oluchukwu
January 14, 2013

This really helpful, as i will print it out for my teen brother to read.
However to shed belly fat go to

January 12, 2013

The tips shows here about sleeping late effect is great detail i didn’t know that but now try to justify it to my child.

January 11, 2013

Seeing people who are always in the minds of human sidelines who are in a comfortable position is always embedded thought, “Thank God yaa. . . I was given a delicious, not like they sit down & slept sober “.

Please see

Berni Clavel
January 11, 2013

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only parent who finds it increasingly difficult to forcibly make ourselves coax, cajole and threaten our kids so they
could be on the ” early to bed, early to rise” healthy sleeping routine. Tv, x- box, Internet games, plus their mandatory homework … Who can compete with that? This article really positively impact modern- day parenting … Thank you so much…

Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD
January 11, 2013

Love all the strategies, but even teens with impeccable sleep hygiene often can’t get close to enough sleep when they’re required to be in class at 7 a.m. Unless we work as a community to ensure school hours that are compatible with adolescent sleep needs, we’re going to have a generation of sleep-deprived zombies. Please encourage the health community to advocate for later school start times (certainly after the 8 a.m. hour) instead of just putting all the burden on individual students and families. Like so many other public health problems, this one is going to take community effort and social reforms to resolve. Please see for more information.

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