It's Called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

It's Called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

 It’s Called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

The CDC says that teenagers ages 13-18 should sleep 8-10 hours every night. 

Their bodies (and brains) need it. 

So why don’t they go to sleep?! 

It seems so obvious to the parents of ADHD teens that the majority of their behavor and mood problems stem from lack of sleep. And yet, there’s no clear solution to get. them. in. bed. 

I was talking to my oldest son the other day, and he said, “I like to stay up because then I own my time - and 9 hours of the day, other people own my time- it’s called Revenge bedtime procrastination.”

🤷 I can’t argue. He’s right. 

Parents do it too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept reading the next chapter or kept watching the next episode because tomorrow I have to do the adult things. 

Just like us, teens don’t own their time during the day, so they take it back during the night… 

The only problem is that it backfires during the day. 🤦

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ADHD Probs - The Effect of Poor Sleep

Lack of sleep affects serotonin levels - the body’s natural happy pill. 

It affects cortisol levels - the body’s stress hormone. 

And it causes a variety of other health and mental health problems

But on the opposite end, good sleep resets your brain so you can start the next day over with a clean slate. When you don’t get that reset, everything compounds and builds up and (look out!) explosions happen.

So how can we help them get more sleep without addressing the aspect of time ownership? 

You can’t. 😅


Own Your Time; Own Your Sleep

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Teenagers need to take ownership of their time just as much as they need good sleep. That’s why I put so much importance on helping the teens in my coaching sessions find their best practices and learn to be autonomous… even if that means doing their homework on the front porch with loose papers blowing in the breeze. 

What works for you is not always what works for them. 


If they have zero control of what happens during the day, they will take back control in another area because they are craving adolescent independence. It’s natural. 

Here are some practical ways that you can help your teen get better sleep by taking back ownership during the day: 

  1. Do a schedule overhaul! What activities do they feel are causing the most stress? Let them be ruthless. We place too much importance on busy schedules these days. I’ve found my success in saying “no” to a packed calendar. 
  2. Let them be active when they need to be active. If you are a “take control” parent, you might feel like you’re always telling them to calm down, sit down, do their homework at the table, etc. Give them some slack in the routine. Maybe they need to change up how and when they do homework or finish their chores. Let them decide. Could they get in a quick pick-up game right after school and then start chores? Do they need to jump out some stress on the trampoline before homework? (Check out my tips for the benefits of trampoline for ADHD here.)
  3. Try rewarding them for getting sleep. I know, I know… You feel a little hesitant about that one. It sounds like a bribe. But this is all about time ownership, right? Get them involved in planning the reward system for hitting 5 nights of perfect bedtime attendance. They can reward themselves with a privilege of their choice. It can’t be all about doing it for you. They have to learn to do it for themselves. Check out this blog post where I talk about planning sleep as another aspect of time management. 

There’s No Shame in Asking for Help

If you’re getting so desperate to solve your teen’s sleep problems that you’re losing sleep yourself, I can help with that. There’s no shame in providing your teen with another adult to complain to. If you don’t feel equipped to work out their schedule or help them find their best practices, that’s why I’m here.

In weekly coaching sessions, I help them own their time and responsibilities so they can make healthy choices that align with their goals. I’m an accountability partner who helps eliminate the pushback between teens and parents so they can have more peace and collaboration in the home. 

In my Teen Rockstars program, I give your teen  all  they  need  to  advocate for  themselves,  be  resilient,  increase  their self-confidence  and  self-esteem,  and stay on task to live a successful life with ADHD. 

If you’re ready for your teen to establish healthy routines and take ownership of their responsibilities during the day so they can sleep at night, I’m just a click away.

Hit the Connect tab above or click here to contact me. Let’s talk about what’s going on with your adhd teenagers.   

Kelly Biltz

Certified ADHD  Life Coach for Teenagers.

Published By
Kelly Biltz