Teens Are Staying Up Into the Night: Why?


New York Post

A teenage girl staying up into the night on her smartphone.

Abigail Frank and Drew Hardister

Over the past couple of years, it has started to become a trend for teens to stay up well into the night. Now not every teen does this, but there is a large majority that does. These teens stay up for a variety of different reasons. These can include work, homework, chatting with friends, social media, and even the feeling of freedom.

I, Abigail, personally enjoy staying up because of the freedom it allows me. I don’t have any responsibilities for school or work, and I don’t have anybody telling me what I need to do. Even just staying up until midnight gives me a few hours of freedom where I can feel at peace with things. I also use the time to talk to my friends and watch movies that have been on my list.


We made a Google Form earlier this week and shared it online to a large group of people. Out of that group, twenty people responded. The largest majority of people, 38.1%, reported going to bed from 11:01 p.m. to 12 a.m. Their reasons for why, varied from not being tired, to staying up to do homework, and even watching Netflix.

We asked “Why do you go to sleep when you do?” and many agreed that they just aren’t tired when they get to bed. So instead, they stay up doing various tasks until they grow physically tired. Other students stay up because they have hard classes to study for and they have to finish their school work. Still, other students stay up because they feel more free at night.

A teenage boy sitting at his desk on his computer. (screenretriever.com)

One student anonymously explained that, “It’s quiet in my house.” They continued with, “Everyone is asleep and not talking to me, so I have time to myself.” Another student was on a similar page saying “I feel like it is the only time for me to have time for myself.”

I, Andrew, stay up personally because I am an active person and during online school I’m pretty much stuck at my desk all day doing school work, I don’t have time to get all of my energy out. Then when it’s time for me to sleep, I have too much energy and I can’t fall asleep, so I stay up and talk to friends or play games on my phone. I have lots to do during the day, everyone needs something and so I don’t get to chat with friends, or play games much during the day, so I do it at night.

When teens are up during these late hours, there’s a lot of things to do. Teens can do homework, read, go on social media, watch a movie, talk to friends, apply for jobs, have a self care night, play video games, and catch up on their favorite television series.

It’s a chance for teenagers to be able to recuperate and have a minute to themselves. During the day, especially during the ongoing pandemic, it can be difficult to find time for oneself. With online school, homework, and the at home responsibilities it can be a lot to handle. During the night is a chance to be able to catch up on everything that we can’t get to during the day.

A phone with multiple apps rising from its surface. (wired.com)

One student in particular, Brayden, is “usually on [his] phone, scrolling through social media.” He explained how it’s “easy to lose track of time and get caught up in things.”

Caden enjoys listening to music late at night. He listens, “to music while [he] scrolls on social media.”

Anthony, enjoys watching videos and getting a small workout in before he eventually falls asleep. “I work during the day and during the night is the only time I have to catch up on everything,” he elaborated.