Best Times To Visit Colleges

Best Times To Visit Colleges

How to Schedule Your Campus Visits

Visiting a college campus is one of the most exciting steps in choosing a college. If possible, it’s best to visit colleges before your applications are due. That way, you can be confident you’d be happy at any of the colleges you’re applying to.

It’s also best to go is when the college is in session. That way, you’ll get to see it when classes are meeting and day-to-day activities are taking place.

How to Pick a Date

Below are some guidelines on when to visit. Plan your visit well ahead of time, so you can make sure that you see what you need to see and meet with the people who can tell you what you need to know.

During the Week

Mondays through Thursdays are ideal for visits since campuses are generally in full swing. Visiting on a Friday may not be as practical, as students, faculty and staff might be busy with social activities starting Friday afternoon.

High school holidays that fall on Mondays are often great opportunities for making college visits. Many colleges are in session on these days — and you won’t be missing any of your high school classes.

The Best Seasons

The late summer and early September before senior year are convenient times to visit, since many colleges begin their fall semester as early as mid-August.

The spring of junior year is a good time if you’ve already researched colleges. Spring break is also good if you play fall sports or are considering applying under early action or early decision plans, which usually have application deadlines in November of senior year.

It may be more useful for seniors to wait until the fall through winter to make their visits. That timing can help seniors narrow college lists.

After You’ve Been Accepted

Many colleges invite their accepted candidates to spend a few days on campus before the May 1 reply date to encourage them to enroll. This is a good opportunity to make some in-depth comparisons between the colleges that have accepted you.

However, if you’re planning to wait to visit colleges until after you’ve received acceptances, keep in mind that you may have only a few weeks to visit and make your decision. Most colleges don’t mail acceptance letters before April, and the standard reply date is May 1.

When Not to Go

Check specific dates with each college so you don’t arrive when the campus is deserted. Call the college or look on the college’s website for the academic calendar to find out when breaks, reading periods and exam periods are scheduled.

Colleges are not in session during:

  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Christmas week
  • Winter and spring breaks
  • Summer, unless there is a summer session

College classes don’t meet during:

  • Reading period
  • Exam weeks
  • Saturdays and Sundays

The admission office may be closed to visitors at certain times. For example, admission officers may be too busy to meet with you in May and April — that’s when they’re reviewing applications. Check with the college.

Need a Portfolio for a Design Major?

Need a Portfolio for a Design Major?

Check out these tips for ALL portfolio requirements!
This article was written by Evan Froster and David Thomas
There are many programs and types of designers, but there are a few universal tips when it comes to putting your best foot forward. If you’re preparing your design portfolio, here are five things to keep in mind as you get started.
1. Show your process!
Show the admissions team that you understand the basics alongside a solid finished project. They want to see parts of your process — showing off sketches or renders along with final projects helps them see that.
2. Submit to competitions!
No matter how big or small the competition or placement, entering competitions is a great way to make your candidacy look impressive and keep your creative juices flowing. No matter where you place, taking part in competitions challenges you to work with an established theme or prompt and helps you continue to develop a body of work to showcase.
3. Brush up on your basics.
At the core of every good portfolio is an understanding of key design principles. You may be a master at challenging conventions, but you have to show that you know the rules in order to break them.
4. Limit yourself.
You may be inclined to send everything you’ve ever done in your portfolio. Some schools may not even have a limit to how many submissions you can include! That being said, don’t give everything away. Aim for around 15-20 slides if a school does not specify.
5. A lack of technical knowledge shouldn’t hold you back.
Tools can be taught; creativity cannot. If you’re gifted with a certain tool or medium, showcase that! You will gain all the tools you need when you are in school.
Dorm Room Checklist!

Dorm Room Checklist!

You don’t need to stuff your kid’s room with things that they won’t use – remember, you have to move them back home every year! Here’s my list, “approved” by my college graduates… 

  1. Kitchen Items:
  • Mini Fridge/microwave combo
  • Plates/bowls/utensils
  • Tupperware
  • Chip clips
  • Snacks
  • Protein bars
  • Easy non-perishables (Cup O Noodle, etc.)
  1. School Work Necessities:
  • Bulletin board
  • School supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, tape, stapler)
  • Computer/laptop
  • Desk lamp
  • Noise Cancelling headphones
  • Speakers
  • Laptop cooling pad
  1. Making the Dorm a Home:
  • Bedding (check with your school if the dorms have twin size beds or twin XL)
  • Pillow (s)
  • Mattress topper
  • Blanket
  • Hangers
  • Shoe organizer/rack
  • Over the door mirror
  • Storage bins
  • Trash can
  • Laundry basket
  • Laundry detergent (individual pouches are popular)
  • Stain remover
  • Decorative rug
  • Additional lighting
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Clorox wipes
  • Health care directives
  • Extension cords/Surge protectors
  • Medicine kit (prescriptions, over the counter)
  1. Bathroom Necessities:
  • Shower caddy and toiletries
  • Towels
  • Shower shoes
  • Robe
Hands-On Learners: Engineering or Engineering Technology?

Hands-On Learners: Engineering or Engineering Technology?

As you research potential college degree programs, you may wonder what the difference is between an engineering degree and an engineering technology degree. Both types of programs are accredited and will prepare you for careers in the field of engineering. However, there are still a number of differences between an engineering degree and an engineering technology degree. Engineering and engineering technology degree programs involve different coursework with distinct focuses. They equip graduates with skills needed for different career paths.

What to Expect from an Engineering Technology Degree Program

One difference between an engineering degree and an engineering technology degree is the curriculum. Both types of programs are accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. However, an engineering technology program will focus more on practical application than on theory and design.

This narrower emphasis is on implementing engineering principles into real-world projects. It allows students to focus on classes that deal with practical applications rather than theoretical foundations. The curriculum in an accredited engineering technology degree program often includes coursework in:

  • algebra
  • applied calculus
  • trigonometry

What to Expect from an Engineering Program

Unlike an engineering technology program, an engineering degree path will involve a lot of study in engineering theory and conceptual design. Most engineering students have to take higher-level math courses. These include a few calculus classes and theoretical science courses that focus heavily on calculus. Engineering students do learn how to apply those theories to practical situations. However, they need to understand the principles that allow a design to work so that they can create original designs to solve problems.

Because engineering programs focus heavily on advanced mathematics courses, they often have stricter admissions requirements.

Is Engineering or Engineering Technology the Right Choice for You?

Another major difference between an engineering degree and an engineering technology degree is the career paths each education will prepare you to pursue. ABET acknowledges that there is often some overlap between the fields.

However, only someone who graduates from an engineering degree program can attain a license and officially call themselves an engineer. They will likely work in conceptual design or in research and development. Many engineers go on to earn a graduate degree.

Graduates of engineering technology programs, on the other hand, become engineering technicians if they hold an associate’s degree. They become engineering technologists if they hold a bachelor’s degree. They often find work in industries such as:

  • manufacturing
  • construction
  • product design
  • technical services
  • testing
  • sales

Ultimately, which program you should study depends on what you want to do with your degree. Would you like to work with concepts to design engineering projects? Or would you like to work on only the practical applications used in those projects?

Understanding the difference between an engineering degree and an engineering technology degree is the first step to choosing the best degree program for your strengths and career goals.

Questions? Let’s chat!

Bettina Weil

Weil College Advising, LLC

info@weilcollegeadvising.com

6 Tips For Helping Your Student with Learning Differences To Self-Advocate

6 Tips For Helping Your Student with Learning Differences To Self-Advocate

By Amanda Morin

High school can present challenges for kids, both academically and socially. It’s important that your child be able to self-advocate in those situations. Doing it now is also good practice for life after high school. Here are ways to help kids speak up for their needs.

1. Encourage kids to explain their issues to others.

You’ve worked hard to be an effective advocate. You’ve spent time explaining your child’s learning and thinking differences to others. But in high school, it’s time for kids to take on some of that responsibility. Talk with your teen about the situations in which disclosing challenges might be a good idea — and how to do it. You can share with your child a video of one teen explaining why she tells her friends about her dyscalculia.

2. Encourage kids to work or volunteer.

High-schoolers crave independence. Having a job or volunteering is a good way to support that and provides an opportunity for self-advocacy. Discuss the pros and cons of telling an employer about learning differences. And reassure your teen that employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to help employees do their jobs.

3. Make sure kids know their rights.

A child who has been formally diagnosed with a learning disability or ADHD and who receives services at school is protected under federal law through IDEA. Help kids understand their rights. It’s also important that kids understand how those rights might change when they graduate from high school.

4. Involve your child in decisions about her learning.

Kids with an IEP or 504 plan should attend meetings and participate in them. It gives them a chance to talk directly with the team about goals, the transition plan, what’s working, and what’s not. It can also help kids think about their plans for after high school.

5. Practice how to talk to teachers.

Your child will have a number of teachers in high school and will need to speak to them about accommodations and services. Those conversations can be hard for teens to initiate. Practice conversation starters that can make it easier. It’s also good practice for when your teen needs to do this with a boss at work or with college instructors.

6. Help kids think about the future.

Self-advocacy isn’t just about speaking up. It’s also about knowing what you want to do and how to go after it. Talk to kids about their plans for after high school. Does your teen want to go to college? What type of school? How about learning a trade? Having these conversations can help your teen figure out how to approach the high school years and may ease some fears about the future.

When  Should Students Start With Career Exploration?

When Should Students Start With Career Exploration?

The decisions that young people make at school have a big impact on their lives – affecting not just their further education, training, or employment, but also their social lives, finances and health outcomes.

A key function of secondary schools is to prepare students to transition successfully toward a future career path. This involves providing curriculum opportunities to build students’ general capabilities, support students’ interests, and aspirations, and support them to make informed decisions about their subject choices and pathways.

Students are more engaged in education and highly motivated about their future when they have a clear understanding of themselves and how they might live and work when they leave school. High-quality career education and guidance is an essential part of schooling in preparing young Australians for their future. Careers are now increasingly seen not as being ‘chosen’ but as being constructed through the series of choices about learning and work that people make throughout their lives. Career education in this sense need not be confined to the few, it can, and must, be made accessible to all. The two key components of career education and career guidance are:

 career education – developing knowledge, skills and attitudes through a planned program of learning experiences in education and training settings which will assist all students to make informed decisions about their study and/or work options and enable effective participation in their working life.

 career guidance – assisting individuals to make educational, training, and occupational choices and to manage their careers and move from a general understanding of life and work to a specific understanding of the realistic learning and work options that are open to them.

Supporting students in making well-informed choices about subjects can lead them to have a more optimistic outlook on life, sense of purpose, and a greater level of contribution that they make to their families and society. There are economic and social benefits when students are supported to make effective transitions from secondary school to further education, training, or employment. Career education and guidance play an important role in a curriculum that supports:

  • students’ interests, strengths, and aspirations
  • students’ achievements • students at risk of poor outcomes • students making informed decisions about their
  • students at risk of poor outcomes
  • students making informed decisions about their subject choices and pathways.

We believe that this is part of the transition from high school to college, as it helps the student identify goals, and find meaning and purpose in what they do!

Questions? Let’s chat!

Bettina Weil

Founder, Weil College Advising, LLC

info@weilcollegeadvising.com

Selective College Admissions—Why Yield Matters

Selective College Admissions—Why Yield Matters

Article written by Julie Simon from Beasley Consulting

“I don’t understand college admissions. The decisions all seem so arbitrary.”

“I know students with lower GPAs and standardized test scores who were admitted and I wasn’t. I’m so confused.”

These comments are all too familiar after early application results are released, and this year was no different. I understand that selective college admissions decisions can seem arbitrary, and sometimes, even downright unfair. However, when we’re talking about a selective college receiving tens of thousands of qualified applications, who gets admitted goes beyond the quality of the student’s application.

When I began working in the admissions office at the University of Michigan in 2002, our office received a manageable 25,000 applications. Fast forward to 2021 and that number skyrocketed to more than 79,000.* And it’s important to note the vast majority of the applicants are qualified for admission. Here’s a few notes about the applicants for the U-M 2021 incoming class:

  • 33.4% of students had a perfect GPA of a 4.0

  • 70.2% of students submitted an SAT score between 1400-1600

  • 87.5% of students submitted an ACT score between 30-36

As applications have doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled, at the nation’s most selective colleges, the decision process has changed dramatically. No longer is admissions simply an art. It’s much more science-based—data science—to be specific.

How Do Institutional Priorities Affect Admissions? Selective colleges have the ability to choose which qualified applicants are accepted based on their own institutional priorities (e.g. geographic diversity, recruited athletes, first generation students, etc.) They also must admit to all academic schools/majors and enroll a balance of full-pay students to offset those who need financial aid. They can choose to admit those with the most competitive academics, or they can choose to admit the students who they believe are likely to enroll. And lastly, they want to admit as few students as possible. Why? Because that’s the sign of an elite institution—a low admit rate and high yield rate (those admitted who choose to enroll).

What is Yield Modeling?

Colleges now use complex algorithms to assess who to admit based upon a student’s likelihood to enroll if admitted. So what goes into some of these yield algorithms? You might be surprised to realize it has very little to do with academic or extracurricular accomplishments. It includes factors such as:

  • Zip code

  • Past enrollment rates from your high school

  • % of students with your GPA/test scores who have enrolled previously

  • Family income

  • Parents highest level of education

  • The colleges your parents and siblings attended

  • Attendance at campus programs (e.g. tours, student panels, interviews, etc.)

  • Applicant’s engagement with the admission office including opening, reading, clicking on email links and following social media accounts

How Does This Affect My College List?

What you choose to do inside and outside of the classroom is a critical component of the admissions process at highly selective colleges, it’s important to understand that other things that aren’t about you personally play a crucial role as well. This is why we often stress the need to look beyond the Top 40 rankings—to explore colleges where students have amazing experiences and successful outcomes—like Colleges That Change Lives. In the end, we want our students to have a variety of options. And then, the ball is in your court, and you get to be the one to determine which crazy algorithm you will use to decide which college is for you—thermal physics research opportunities, the preeminent drone racing team, or the frequency of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the dining hall—the choice is yours!

The Benefits of ADHD

The Benefits of ADHD

If someone receives a diagnosis of ADHD, they should not be disheartened or allow the disadvantages of the condition to overshadow its numerous potential strengths.

Here are some of the ADHD benefits that someone may experience:

Hyperfocus

Hyperfocusing is a state where an individual with ADHD can focus on a task for hours on end, essentially tuning out everything around them. It often happensTrusted Source if the individual is doing a job that they enjoy and find interesting.

While hyperfocusing, the person can improve their performance, meaning they work even more efficiently. This process allows them to complete a task without any distractions, and the outcome is often of great quality.

Resilience

Teachers view more than half of all children with ADHD as resilient. Living with ADHD comes with many challenges that those with ADHD must work against every day. These difficulties could mean that individuals with ADHD may experience setbacks and adversity, which they must overcome.

Experiencing these obstacles, and working past them, means that people with ADHD are able to build up resilience because they have practiced recovering from setbacks more often than other individuals. While this may seem like a double-edged sword, overcoming obstacles and challenges and building resilience in this way can lead to a strong character and prove beneficial in many cases.

Another study highlights the constant self-awareness that people with ADHD must have. They must be careful to not be overstimulated or bored, and find that balance in the middle, which again leads to greater self-awareness and therefore resilience. It is a form of self-protective strength, which again, can allow individuals to flourish.

Creativity

Those with ADHD are often highly creative, especially when given a goal-oriented task. Living with ADHD also requires people to approach tasks differently, which means they can become great problem solvers. Those with ADHD often think of unusual solutions because of their different perspectives.

Conversational skills and humanity

People with ADHD are often great conversationalists. This ability applies especially to those who have more of the inattentive type of ADHD.

Those with ADHD are often talkativeTrusted Source, which means that they can spark an intriguing conversation in most scenarios.

Another study highlights that people with ADHD may have higher levels of social intelligence, humor, and recognition of feeling, or empathy. Study participants recognized their own ability to have a more positive mental approach, and in turn, more “social success.”

Spontaneity and courage

Many people enjoy the unplanned moments and adventures that keep life interesting, and individuals with ADHD excel in this area.

Their impulsive nature lends itself to spontaneous activities that often leave enjoyable and lasting memories. People with ADHD are not afraid to do whatever they enjoy at the moment without concerning themselves with long-term implications or overthinking situations.

Research suggests that this spontaneity can often lead people with ADHD to seek out thrill and adventure, with the added courage they gain from that spontaneity.

High energy

One of the defining aspects trusted sources of ADHD is hyperactivity. While most people think of this negatively in terms of disruption to classmates or work colleagues, hyperactivity means that those with ADHD are excellent at sports and other physical activities. They have plenty of energy to burn and thrive in an environment where movement is advantageous and encouraged. This can have numerous positive impacts on a person’s life.

Why are they sometimes called superpowers?

Many people view the benefits of ADHD as “superpowers” because they are additional skills that their neurotypical counterparts do not have. ADHD gifts people a unique perspective on the world that those without ADHD are unlikely to understand.

For example, not everyone has the ability to hyperfocus. When an individual with ADHD enters this state, they can spend the time extremely productively and accomplish amazing things.

Moreover, the boundless energy that some individuals living with ADHD puts them at an advantage when performing physical activities. Often they can outlast everyone around them. There are numerous elite athletes with ADHD, and perhaps the condition has allowed them to excel.

Michael Jordan, for example, generally considered the greatest basketball player in history, is one such athlete with ADHD.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the combination of hyperactivity and the ability to hyperfocus on certain tasks, such as training, can allow some athletes to develop their skills to another level.

Studying in UK vs. US Universities

Studying in UK vs. US Universities

The UK and the US are two of the most popular destinations for international students. In the UK alone, there are over 450,000 international students at university. There are some big differences between UK and US universities, such as the application process, length of study, etc.

You can apply to more universities in the US

In the US, you can apply to as many ‘colleges’ (that’s what university is known as in the US) as you want to. Though it’s not advised to apply to more than 15 and college counselors usually recommend that you apply to around six to eight colleges.

In the UK, you can apply to up to five universities (four, if you’re applying for medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine). It’s fewer than the US but there are several advantages to this, including the application process is much easier and quicker – which we’ll continue discussing below.

But the UK’s application process is easier

In the UK, every student applies to several universities through UCAS. This is a UK-based organisation that operates the application process for British universities. Here, you can choose your university options, submit your grades and personal statement and this service will store this information.

It’s all done in one place, making it much easier. You also only need to write one personal statement (which is essentially a short essay about why you want to study the course you’re applying for) but because this will be sent to all the universities you apply for, it’ll need to be just about the course and not a specific university.

In the US, the process of applying to university can be much longer. This is because students need to apply to each university directly, going through each institution’s admissions department.

In the US, there’s also a system called Common Application. It’s not as detailed as the UK’s UCAS system but it does allow you to submit all of your applications in one place.

Students applying to universities in the US also usually need to supply essays for each university they apply to. So, if you apply for 10 universities, you’ll need to write 10 essays – all specific to each university.

The length of study is not the same

One of the biggest differences between UK and US universities is the time it takes to complete a degree. In general, it takes one year longer to get a degree in the US compared to the UK.

UK courses are typically one year shorter because the course programs are more focused than in the US. Here’s a rough guideline on how long courses take in both countries (if you’re studying full-time).

UK

  • Bachelors: 3-4 years
  • Masters: 1 year
  • PhD: 3-4 years+

USA

  • Bachelors: 4 years
  • Masters: 2 years
  • PhD: 5-7 years+

University structures are also different

Universities in both the UK and US are divided into schools according to their subject – for example, any business-related courses would be a part of the Business & Law school. But, one big difference is how the actual courses are structured.

Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll explain further…

American universities give students the opportunity to explore multiple subjects for at least a year before deciding on a final major. This isn’t for everyone.

For example, if you choose a US university and you’ve already decided on a final major, you’ll still have to attend other classes throughout the first two years. If you don’t, you won’t work towards your final degree.

That’s not always the case in the UK. If you choose a combined honors program, you’re able to study two subjects at once. Sometimes you can do more. For example, you can do up to three at Newcastle University. This is similar to the US. But, if you choose a regular honors degree, you’ll usually only focus on your specialism.

Though, there’ll be opportunities to take optional modules. So, if you’ve selected engineering, you’ll attend engineering-related classes, plus any optional modules you’ve chosen.

This is why UK courses usually don’t take as long to complete as you get to study your chosen subjects straight away – rather than exploring different options beforehand.

Find your country and discover the courses available to you.

Student life and accommodation can vary

You’ll have plenty of opportunities in both the UK and the US to make lifelong friends. Some things are quite similar, such as being able to join a wide range of clubs and societies.

You’ll get the chance to explore some amazing cities and create amazing memories. In the UK, you have accommodation options such as student halls that are provided by the universities or even private accommodation.

In the US, students usually find themselves sharing dormitories with other students. Or in some cases, students can apply to join a fraternity or sorority. These are large houses that a group of students can stay in after a detailed application process.

It’s really down to you and the type of lifestyle you want to enjoy.

The exams are quite similar

In the UK and US, courses require a lot of reading and assignments. This can include essays, research papers, oral presentations and more.

The only slight difference is that the UK is more lecture-based and there’s a big focus on seminars and workshops. However, you’ll still do assignments in both countries.

Final grades are usually determined by the performance of your assignments. Although in some cases, your entire grade can be based on a final exam.

Now that you know the similarities and differences between UK and US universities, it’s a good time to find out more about what the UK has to offer international students…

Questions? Let’s chat!

Bettina Weil, Founder

Weil College Advising, LLC

info@weilcollegeadvising.com

Why Is It Hard for Teens To Get Good Sleep?

Why Is It Hard for Teens To Get Good Sleep?

Written by Eric Suni, medically reviewed by Alex Dimitriu, Psychiatrist

There is no single reason for sleep insufficiency among teens. Several factors contribute to this problem, and these factors may vary from teenager to teenager.

Delayed Sleep Schedule and School Start Times

During adolescence, there is a strong tendency toward being a “night owl,” staying up later at night and sleeping longer into the morning. Experts believe this is a two-fold biological impulse affecting the circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle of teens.

First, teens have a sleep drive that builds more slowly, which means they don’t start to feel tired until later in the evening. Second, the body waits longer to start producing melatonin, which is the hormone that helps promote sleep.

If allowed to sleep on their own schedule, many teens would get eight hours or more per night, sleeping from 11 p.m. or midnight until 8 or 9 a.m., but school start times in most school districts force teens to wake up much earlier in the morning. Because of the biological delay in their sleep-wake cycle, many teens simply aren’t able to fall asleep early enough to get eight or more hours of sleep and still arrive at school on time.

With reduced sleep on weekdays, teens may try to catch up by sleeping in on the weekend, but this may exacerbate their delayed sleep schedule and inconsistent nightly rest.

Time Pressure

Teens often have their hands full. School assignments, work obligations, household chores, social life, community activities, and sports are just some of the things that can require their time and attention.

With so much to try to fit into each day, many teens don’t allocate sufficient time for sleep. They may stay up late during the week to finish homework or during the weekend when hanging out with friends, both of which can reinforce their night owl schedule.

Pressure to succeed while managing these extensive commitments can be stressful, and excess stress has been known to contribute to sleeping problems and insomnia.

Use of Electronic Devices

Electronic devices like cell phones and tablets are ubiquitous among teens, and research, such as the 2014 Sleep in America Poll, finds that 89% or more of teens keep at least one device in their bedroom at night.

Screen time late into the evening can contribute to sleeping problems. Using these devices can keep teens’ brains wired, and incoming notifications can cause disrupted and fragmented sleep. Evidence also points to suppressed melatonin production from exposure to the light from cell phones.

Sleep Disorders

Some teens have poor sleep because of an underlying sleep disorder. Adolescents can be affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. OSA frequently causes fragmented sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Though less common, teens can have sleep disorders like Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which involves a strong urge to move the limbs when lying down, and narcolepsy, which is a disorder affecting the sleep-wake cycle.

Mental Health Problems

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be a challenge to quality sleep in teens as well as adults. Insufficient sleep can contribute to these conditions as well, creating a bidirectional relationship that can worsen both sleep and emotional wellness.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), can make it harder for teens to sleep well. Lack of sleep may also contribute to more pronounced symptoms of these conditions.

How Can Teens Get Better Sleep?

Teens who are having sleep problems should start by talking with their doctor about how much sleep they are getting and how it impacts their daily life. Their pediatrician can work to identify any underlying causes and craft the most appropriate and tailored treatment.

Depending on the cause of sleep problems, medications may be considered; however, in most cases, treatment with medications isn’t necessary for teens to get better sleep.

A beneficial step is for teens to review and improve their sleep hygiene, which includes their sleep environment and habits. Some healthy sleep tips that can help in this process include:

  • Budgeting eight hours of sleep into your daily schedule and keeping that same schedule on both weekdays and weekends.
  • Creating a consistent pre-bed routine to help with relaxation and falling asleep fast.
  • Avoiding caffeine and energy drinks, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Putting away electronic devices for at least a half-hour before bed and keeping them on silent mode to avoid checking them during the night.
  • Setting up your bed with a supportive mattress that’s the best mattress for you. And don’t forget to bring your best pillow.
  • Keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

Sleep hygiene modifications may be included in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a form of talk therapy for sleeping problems that has demonstrated effectiveness in adults and may be helpful to teens. CBT-I works by reshaping negative ideas and thoughts about sleep and implementing practical steps for better sleep routines.

How Can Parents Help Teens Get Better Sleep?

For many parents, a first step is asking their teenage children about their sleep since surveys indicate that many parents don’t realize that their children are having sleeping problems.

Parents can encourage teens to see a doctor while also working with their children to make gradual sleep hygiene improvements. Some research has found that teens whose parents set a firm bedtime get more sleep and have less daytime drowsiness21.

Another avenue for parents is advocating for later start times with their local school district. A number of districts have experimented with delayed starts and found beneficial results as measured by attendance and academic performance.

Parents can also work with their teens to avoid overscheduling and commitments that can generate stress and trade off with adequate time for sleep.

Weil College Advising

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