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The Logic of Staying Up All Night – 8 ways to zzzz


… you’re up all night texting your BFF. Your parents took your phone but you have a used iPod and secret WiFi access. You’ve been up for two days straight. You bombed the bio mid-term and you don’t give a shit. You’re too tired to cut yourself or inflict self-harm but you’re too awake to put the phone down. Your feelings of confusion are overwhelming and intolerable.  What if your friend, Zak, texted your friend Ashley, like he said he would, telling her he only likes her “as a friend” and you’re not ready to help her at 3am when it all goes down? Or what if Vanessa shared your nudes with Tracy after you told her not to?  How scary is that?

Parents are pressuring you about college visits and you’re like, “get the f off my back.” So rude!

Mrs. Dalton asked for a draft about Tender is the Night a week ago. You put it in your bag, because you like English. But you failed to hand it in because

A. You don’t care,

B. You care too much,

C. Your dog really ate it. Or

D. All of the above, and is this going to be on the state test? Because if it is, f that.

Now it’s the weekend. Time to go out and smoke a blunt and drink some crap ass flavored vodka (“gets the job done”) and then crash at Chelsea’s while her parents go to some 60’s style encounter group. Wake up, repeat.

If I had a dollar for every teen who told me this…

Then wait for it – your mood is off, like way off, you can’t concentrate and you’re irritable. Your parents want to take you for a sleep study at the hospital. Just the thought of that makes you reach for your 4th cup of coffee, because yeah, the US history exam… And repeat.

You always skip breakfast.  Kids hate breakfast.  Forgot to have lunch because there was too much drama at school and you had no money.  Came home and devoured a bag of lime chips and orange soda.  Why would you NOT feel disgusting?

What we need to do is revolutionize teen sleep habits.

  1. Teach sleep hygiene in schools,
  2. Start school later (no brainer),
  3. Give fewer tests,
  4. And remember: self-care is not selfish.
  5. We need to remind parents to stop helicoptering and let them learn about themselves.
  6. We need to give them more support and less worry.
  7. We need to back off of the constant obsession about money.
  8. What kids need is rest and relaxation not stress and self-destruction.

The world is hard enough.

The Logic of Staying Up All Night – 8 ways to zzzz

Donna C. Moss

You can learn more about Donna's work at her personal website.

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APA Reference
Moss, D. (2017). The Logic of Staying Up All Night – 8 ways to zzzz. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 18 Jan 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Jan 2017
Published on All rights reserved.