Does your teen have a hard time waking up in the morning? Not to worry – struggling to wake up early for school is totally normal for teens. However, if you want to avoid those hectic mornings scrambling to get them to the bus on time, here are 5 caffeine-free ways to boost your teen’s morning, brought to you by Ramp! These gentle tips are great to help your teen set a healthy morning routine, without hitting the snooze button 10 times.
1. Help set their internal clock
We all know that turning off electronics can help your teen develop a healthier sleeping schedule and wind down at night, but blue light is not the only light affecting your teen’s routine. In fact, natural light plays a huge part in setting our internal clocks and circadian rhythm. Shutting off nightlights and blue light emitting electronics, as well as fully closing blinds or curtains at night will help signify to your teen’s internal clock that it’s time for rest. Likewise, opening the blinds in the morning to let in natural light will naturally signal to your teen’s brain that it’s time to wake up for the day. If your teen’s room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or if they need an extra boost, you can actually purchase alarm clocks that simulate natural sunlight! You can also opt for an alarm clock that has natural sounds (like birds chirping) to get their day started.
2. Promote hydration over caffeine
It totally feels like energy drink companies are targeting our teens these days! Plus, it doesn’t help that Starbucks offers sweet, decadent, caffeinated drinks that draw in a younger crowd. While these drinks might offer the initial energy boost your teen is looking for, consuming caffeine may have detrimental effects on their sleep schedule, and affect cognitive performance later in the day.
We aren’t saying you need to declare war on the occasional Coca Cola, but encouraging hydration in the morning can really boost your teen’s cognition, mood and metabolism for the day. Because your teen has just slept for 8 hours without hydration, starting the day with a glass of water is just what their body needs. We also suggest flavoring your teen’s morning H2O with citrus, berries or fresh mint for a delicious and refreshing taste.
3. Start with a nourishing breakfast
Beginning the day with a balanced, satiating meal is key for starting your teen’s morning on the right foot. Providing a tasty and filling breakfast will keep the teen “hanger” at bay and promote focus for the rest of the day! Here’s a quick and delicious protein smoothie recipe, featuring Ramp! Up the Day:
Fudgy Chocolate Protein Smoothie for Teens
- 1 scoop of Ramp! Up the Day
- 8 oz (240 ml) of cow or plant-based milk
- ½ banana, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup Greek or plant-based yogurt
- 1 tsp nut butter of your choice
- 3 ice cubes
- Add milk, banana, yogurt, nut butter and ice cubes to a blender
- Add 1 scoop of Ramp! Up
- Blend until smooth
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Ramp! Up the Day provides 8g of plant-based protein, as well as high-quality nutrients to support focus, mood and attention in teens. Your teen can enjoy this protein smoothie on its own, or paired with some whole grain toast and fruit to bump up the satisfaction factor!
4. Encourage daily exercise
Daily exercise (especially earlier in the day) can really help to set your teen’s circadian rhythm. The rising of your teen’s heart rate and core body temperature due to exercise during the day helps signal that it’s time to be awake. Likewise, the decline of your teen’s body temperature and heart rate later on helps your teen’s body wind down for bed. Not to mention, a daily sport or activity of your teen’s choosing can help motivate them, because they have something fun to look forward to! You can even enlist the help of your teen’s friend for extra motivation and social time.
5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Maintaining a healthy bedtime routine can help teens prioritise healthy rest and feel their best in the morning! Sticking to a regular bedtime and limiting tech in the bedroom can help your teen achieve this goal. It is recommended that middle and highschool students sleep for 8-10 hours per night, so aiming for a bedtime to allow for at least 8 hours of sleep will help your teen feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Remember, it is totally normal for your teen to have a tougher time waking up than when they were younger. Adolescents naturally need more sleep, and their bodies are going through a ton of rapid changes. The tips listed above are gentle, caffeine-free ways to help your teen feel their best in the AM, but they won’t magically turn your teen into a morning person.