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How much sleep does your 13 yo get?


teachermom2834
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My 13 yo dd sleeps about 8 hours each school night (11pm-7 am). She does fine. She isn’t grumpy and she gets up fine in the morning. She drags a little but gets up with an alarm without anyone going in to pull her out of bed. She goes to a cottage school twice a week and we leave at 7:50 with no issues and on the days we are home she  gets up at the same time and starts school by a little after 8:00. 
 

So, it isn’t like she is sleep deprived. She is active and healthy and I’m not worried. But, I do think it is not very much sleep. I know everyone has different needs. 
 

Honestly, I’m just kind of annoyed that she never goes to sleep while I’m still up. I head up to bed around 10:45-11:00 and most times she is still up reading (though winding down and she doesn’t stay up much past 11:00).  
 

We don’t really have an issue here other than I am annoyed she isn’t asleep at 10:00. She’s fine. I’ll admit I just wish she went to sleep earlier and I find it annoying. I guess I still want those magic moments I had when I could be a awake in a quiet house while the kids slept. And I think 8 hours is not a lot of sleep for an active teen. 
 

So all that just for a general question- how much does your 13 yo sleep? Do you think it is enough? What’s normal here?

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8 or 9 hours is the most I would hope for.  Several children in my family have gone through phases of insomnia starting at about 9.  This is more of a wake up in the middle of the night, read for several hours, and go back to sleep thing.  The pediatrician seemed to think it was related to puberty, but if they are functioning fine there's nothing to do.

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I have always been a night owl and liked the peace of staying up when the kids go to sleep.  I think I need to turn into a morning person instead, although my kids wake up early.  But stay up late doesn't work so well anymore.  They stay up later and I am just tired stay up later than them.  

Before Covid and now my 13 year olds were in their rooms with lights out before 10 pm.  Over summer they would have lights on later reading sometimes.  But school year lights are out at 10pm.  Now that was before Covid when we were not getting home from ballet until after 9pm.  Then it was quick shower, and get ready for bed. 

During covid we would get them to bed a bit earlier.  During summer they get up anywhere btwn 6-8am.  My teens have never been kids who slept in.  8 is a hardly ever thing.  

So 8-10 hours with it leaning more towards the 8 hour mark.

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I prefer for kids that age to lay down for 10 hours. Sleep or awake is fine, but I like for them to let thier body and mind rest. They can be reading, drawing, watching something funny, what ever brings them mental-rest....but they need to be laying down, and relaxing. I love to see 9 to 10 hours of sleep, but I settled for 7 or so, as long as they were waking up on thier own and happy. 

My older kids especially are high energy kids who were always on the move, playing sports, running around with friends, and generally being very active. They needed assigned time to let thier bodies heal and recover from one day, before hitting the next day head on. 

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1 minute ago, Tap said:

I prefer for kids that age to lay down for 10 hours. Sleep or awake is fine, but I like for them to let thier body and mind rest. They can be reading, drawing, watching something funny, what ever brings them mental-rest....but they need to be laying down, and relaxing. I love to see 9 to 10 hours of sleep, but I settled for 7 or so, as long as they were waking up on thier own and happy. 

My older kids especially are high energy kids who were always on the move, playing sports, running around with friends, and generally being very active. They needed assigned time to let thier bodies heal and recover from one day, before hitting the next day head on. 

I like this. I think I am also missing having a good chunk of time in the evening to watch a grown up show or just have quiet. She’s intense and she is always talking. After being with her all day I am ready for her to turn in at 9:00. 
 

However, she is now dancing every night and the schedule varies but on Tuesdays we don’t even get home until 9:00-9:15. I need time to wind down at night so I understand that she doesn’t want to walk in and go straight to bed. So I am sure I feel it most on Tuesdays when her wind down time cuts into my wind down time so much. Lol. 
 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I like this. I think I am also missing having a good chunk of time in the evening to watch a grown up show or just have quiet. She’s intense and she is always talking. After being with her all day I am ready for her to turn in at 9:00. 
 

However, she is now dancing every night and the schedule varies but on Tuesdays we don’t even get home until 9:00-9:15. I need time to wind down at night so I understand that she doesn’t want to walk in and go straight to bed. So I am sure I feel it most on Tuesdays when her wind down time cuts into my wind down time so much. Lol. 
 

 

 

LOL. I completely understand! I actually had a firm rule, that the older kids weren't allowed to ask me questions that required thought after 9pm! Otherwise it was a 2 hour conversation about why the moon isn't really round, and then how it can be summer in Australia when it is winter here, and how long the days are in the summer vs the winter....etc....etc...etc.   The had to save those types of questions for the next day or look it up themselves. I needed to let my brain rest too! 

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Before my dd's ADHD was treated, she slept a LOT, like 11 hours a night. And she woke up slowly to boot. That was really rough to get everything done with so much sleep required. My ds is more like that 9 hours ish thing. He'll be in bed listening to audiobooks, probably actually asleep by 12, up by 9. 

Some people make up sleep on the weekend. Does she do that? 

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1 minute ago, Tap said:

LOL. I completely understand! I actually had a firm rule, that the older kids weren't allowed to ask me questions that required thought after 9pm! Otherwise it was a 2 hour conversation about why the moon isn't really round, and then how it can be summer in Australia when it is winter here, and how long the days are in the summer vs the winter....etc....etc...etc.   The had to save those types of questions for the next day or look it up themselves. I needed to let my brain rest too! 

Yeah it’s kind of crazy how a question my kids might ask at 8:00 and I am able to deal with becomes totally offensive and makes my head spin around if they ask it after 9:00. My kids have all kind of understood that I am D.O.N.E. at 9:00 pm. Except this kid. She is the baby and does not get it. Sometime I just put myself to bed at 9:00 to get some quiet. Lol. But that isn’t really what I’m looking for either. 

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Before my dd's ADHD was treated, she slept a LOT, like 11 hours a night. And she woke up slowly to boot. That was really rough to get everything done with so much sleep required. My ds is more like that 9 hours ish thing. He'll be in bed listening to audiobooks, probably actually asleep by 12, up by 9. 

Some people make up sleep on the weekend. Does she do that? 

A little bit. She will sleep until 9:00 or so on weekends. But probably stays up even later too. 

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Just now, teachermom2834 said:

Sometime I just put myself to bed at 9:00 to get some quiet. Lol.

My ds is a tv hog, so I finally started setting some limits like this is when it ends, it's mine, go away. Is her being up keeping you from something you want to do? You could set an in your room time. Really though, this is the age when you *want* them out and talking with you.

Maybe your vitamin D is low and that's why you're getting tired early? Are you up at 5:30? My dh goes to bed at 8:30, 9:00 at the latest, but he's up pretty early. I only sleep 6 ½ hours, so I don't go to bed too early, lol. However my sleep time does shift as the light changes (1 hour more in the winter) and with my vitamin D levels. D is HUGE for sleep and sleep times.

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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

My ds is a tv hog, so I finally started setting some limits like this is when it ends, it's mine, go away. Is her being up keeping you from something you want to do? You could set an in your room time. Really though, this is the age when you *want* them out and talking with you.

Maybe your vitamin D is low and that's why you're getting tired early? Are you up at 5:30? My dh goes to bed at 8:30, 9:00 at the latest, but he's up pretty early. I only sleep 6 ½ hours, so I don't go to bed too early, lol. However my sleep time does shift as the light changes (1 hour more in the winter) and with my vitamin D levels. D is HUGE for sleep and sleep times.

Her keeping me up is only keeping me from having adult time to watch TV or talk to dh. But she is fun and sweet so it isn’t like she is a huge pain. Which is probably why I have never been stricter with an “in your room time”. And we do get home later some nights and I understand needing time to unwind before heading to bed. 
 

So it is only mildly annoying. But I do kind of feel like my other kids slept more. Or I thought they did. I guess I thought young teens were sleeping 9-10 hours (if they had the luxury) so I was wondering what others do.

Edited by teachermom2834
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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Is your energy age appropriate? Maybe it's time for some labs for D, thyroid, etc...

I’m sure that could be investigated. But wanting a few minutes to myself at night doesn’t seem crazy either. But I realize that ship has sailed. Before my third Ds went to college this year he was always up later than me. So it has been a long time since I have had that quiet house at night. I’d still like it though!

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16 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I’m sure that could be investigated. But wanting a few minutes to myself at night doesn’t seem crazy either. But I realize that ship has sailed. Before my third Ds went to college this year he was always up later than me. So it has been a long time since I have had that quiet house at night. I’d still like it though!

I don't know if you are homeschooling or not, but saying your want to have adult only time after 9pm isn't unhealthy. You deserve some time to just be yourself, and relax with your husband, without having to buffer everything to a pre-teen. 

Some people want to live every moment with thier children and some need some alone time. Both are completely normal variations of being a parent. If you relish a bit of quite time in the evening, then set some parameters around that.  A pre-teen/young teen can understand that and learn to respect it. Most parents I know who want some quiet time, are better parents when they have it.  They get too exhausted if they are on 'parent-duty' all the time.  It is similar to extroverts and introverts and how they gain energy and what drains them. Other parents thrive living in the moment with thier kids all.day.every.day. That is great too! Just find what makes you the best your can be, and talk to your teen to make it a cohesive, caring relationship, taking care of each other.  A toddler needs a parent to be on, all the time, a NT teen, does not!

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I’d say mine gets around 9 most nights, but could easily sleep another hour if I didn’t wake him. But, I will add that he can’t get that hour on the other side—going to bed/sleep earlier is harder.  

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8 hours ago, Tap said:

I prefer for kids that age to lay down for 10 hours. Sleep or awake is fine, but I like for them to let thier body and mind rest. They can be reading, drawing, watching something funny, what ever brings them mental-rest....but they need to be laying down, and relaxing. I love to see 9 to 10 hours of sleep, but I settled for 7 or so, as long as they were waking up on thier own and happy. 

My older kids especially are high energy kids who were always on the move, playing sports, running around with friends, and generally being very active. They needed assigned time to let thier bodies heal and recover from one day, before hitting the next day head on. 

I'd prefer my son to get more sleep (14 years old) but when he has to be up at 5:30a to make morning band practice, that's impractical.  he only gets *8* hours by being in bed by 9:30

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9 hours, but she is still very sleepy in the morning. She feels like she's just not tired enough to go to sleep until at least 10. She's been taking occasional daytime naps, which she hasn't done since she was 18 months old. 😉 

ETA: We do have a rule that she is in bed reading about 45 minutes before lights out. She is a talker and I need the quiet at the end of the day. 🙂 And it gives her a chance to wind down.

Edited by MercyA
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13 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I'm in awe of your kids who do well on 8 hours. My ds needs (as in functions very poorly on less) at least 10 hours. 

I guess I was thinking that my dd should need closer to 10, or at least that it would be better for her than the 8 she gets. But it is tough to have a kid that needs that much because it's hard to get to bed early enough to get 10 and then still participate in life that starts early in the morning. Of course, homeschooling gives more flexibility. 

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My kids didn't sleep more than 8 hours on average at age 13.

Ideally it is still great if they can sleep 10 hours, but I think it's unusual, with how busy most kids are.  I certainly wouldn't make it a hill to die on.

I get annoyed when my kids come to me at midnight or later and ask for math help.  😕  One of my kids tells me she physically cannot sleep as early as 11pm.  (They have to get up for school about 6:30am.)

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My DS will be 13 in January. He is growth delayed, so puberty will likely start a bit later, like his father. He also takes ADHD meds, which affect his appetite and keep him up because he doesn't get hungry until much later in the day. So, I try to have him in bed by 10, but he usually doesn't fall asleep until closer to 11 or 12 because he will get up to snack, which I won't stop because he needs the calories. As a result, it is very hard to wake him up before 9 or 10 in the morning. He would keep on sleeping past 10, if left alone. But, on average, I would say that he gets 9-10 hours of sleep per night in order to get school accomplished.   

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17 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

Yeah it’s kind of crazy how a question my kids might ask at 8:00 and I am able to deal with becomes totally offensive and makes my head spin around if they ask it after 9:00. My kids have all kind of understood that I am D.O.N.E. at 9:00 pm. Except this kid. She is the baby and does not get it. Sometime I just put myself to bed at 9:00 to get some quiet. Lol. But that isn’t really what I’m looking for either. 

I turn into the Mother from the Black Lagoon at 8pm. Anyone who talks, asks a question, or is seen around the house after bedtime has to deal with Her, not me. They have fair warning when the change is coming. 

For my 12.7 year old, we are still getting 10-11 hours of quiet, average of 9 of those are sleeping. I notice rustling from the kids room later at night, usually til around 9 but sometimes as late at 10, but because it's a shared room lights go out at 8:30. I can tell the difference between 9 and 10 hours of sleep, 10 is optimal but 9 is acceptable energy and mood. 8 hours of sleep give "yikes" days, and 3 of those in a row triggers emergency measures to reset the sleep cycle. 

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17 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I like this. I think I am also missing having a good chunk of time in the evening to watch a grown up show or just have quiet. She’s intense and she is always talking. After being with her all day I am ready for her to turn in at 9:00. 
 

However, she is now dancing every night and the schedule varies but on Tuesdays we don’t even get home until 9:00-9:15. I need time to wind down at night so I understand that she doesn’t want to walk in and go straight to bed. So I am sure I feel it most on Tuesdays when her wind down time cuts into my wind down time so much. Lol. 
 

 

 

Can you let her stay up, but make a rule that after X p.m. she must be in her room doing something quiet? 
 

My 13 yr old gets about 8-9 hrs of sleep a night. He doesn’t function happily with less. But we let his older sister stay up a little later, because she can function better on less. But if she stays up, it’s quiet time in her room, so we can have time to do things like have adult conversation or watch an adult show. 

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I used to send my teens to bed/room by 9pm at that age, at least for downtime, but they did tell me they couldn’t fall asleep, even if lights were out.  I recently gave melatonin to my 16yos for a different reason, and my one son was ‘wow!  I fell asleep quickly last night!’  The other two notice a big difference too. So it could really be her teen brain

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My kids are a little older, but we've had the same routine forever. No bedtime, but they are in their rooms around 9pm, unless they are have a reason to be out of the house later (work, marching band, etc.). They don't have to turn out their lights at any certain time, but they are no longer wandering the house or hanging out downstairs.

I have one who also has to eat extra at night, due to ADHD-meds appetite suppression during the day. We call him to the kitchen to eat by 8:30; it easily takes him half an hour and sometimes longer to mess around, deciding what to eat. But we built that into the evening schedule.

DH and I need downtime in the evenings. We watch TV.

Over the summer, the kids were up later, but only until around 10. I just need the house to be quiet in the evenings, even though I am a night owl and don't go to bed until later.

OP, I think that 8 hours of sleep is sufficient, if she is waking up with no trouble. If the real issue is that you need downtime, then it's fine to have a meeting about it, explain that you need quiet time, and give her a "go to your room" time in the evening.

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DD12 gets 6-7 a night. She has always been extremely low sleep needs. I think she enjoys the quiet house, too. She is up after me every night. I am a morning person and she is an owl. I don’t mind as long as she is quiet and cleans up any mess (she sometimes makes a small snack like soup or toast to eat while she reads or studies. Which is totally allowed but she needs to remember to clean it all up.)

This amount of sleep is normal for her and she’s usually very even keeled and functional. But every once in a while, I will come home in the afternoon from taking another kid somewhere and she’s passed out in her bed asleep. Just needing to catch up, I guess. It’s very sweet. 

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