a good night’s sleep

I found an interesting post on Psychology Today. A recent study was done with children to examine the effects of inadequate sleep (which is said to be 7.7 hours for children 7-8 years old). A link has been found between short sleeping durations and an increased risk of ADHD.

I remember hearing about studies done concerning high school kids and sleep duration. When school was started later, the kids had better academic performance.. Perhaps these two studies are somehow linked. We all know that growing and developing bodies and minds need adequate rest, but maybe it makes more of a difference than we may have predicted.

I am definitely an advocate for later starting times for schools. My high school years were incredibly sleep deprived. First period in high school was basically a complete waste, since no one is fully awake to do anything. If school is started later for kids/adolescents, it could increase academic performance on two levels: decreasing ADHD for younger children (which also helps with academics later in life), and increasing academic performance for high school students.

Late-starting school for teens

I ran across this article on MSN, where I spend way too much time reading articles from the “Weird news” or the “criminal weirdness” section. But every once in a while I find something that makes sense to me.

Throughout high school I remember some of our teachers and instructors talking about how teens need more sleep, and that their brains aren’t fully functional early in the morning. I remember teachers talking about how having to get up SO early was a problem that only effected our ability to learn and perform in school. Naturally, we all agreed.

I work in a juvenile residential behavioral treatment facility, and we have the “Why do we have to get up so early” debate all the time. Although our kids don’t attend public school, their teachers are public school teachers and they have to go to school during the same times as public school kids. Although I agree that we should start school a little later, I can’t do anything about it. I still can’t figure out why school happens so early, especially when there is data stating that it’s just not a good idea.  

It sounds as though the folks in England have it figured out.