Now here’s something kids can use against their parents. ‘School time to get up’ was the favorite saying of my mom all throughout school. Now, science is backing up my sleeping patterns. The Academy of Pediatrics is urging a later start to the school day. The first bell should ring no earlier than 8:30am. I’m thinking along the lines of 10am and we have something pediatricians.
The group of pediatricians is out with a new policy statement urging more sleep for the nation’s teenagers. How about adult nap time. When do we get a policy statement for this? The Academy of Pediatrics say that our nation’s teenagers are sleep-deprived, and that has consequences for their health.
A tip for getting more sleep? You see your phone sitting in front of you? Toss it on the other side of the room when you want to go to bed. That Snapchat can wait till morning.
It also turns out that biology does not work in a teenager’s favor. It isn’t as easy as going full Amish and hitting the bed at sundown. Once we hit puberty, the raging hormones also mess with the sleep cycle. I’m sure my parents will attest to the fact they deserve more sleep too for having to put up with me.
There are a couple of options to fix the school time, but neither work. One is to flip the start time of high school and elementary school. Parents are opposed to this, as it would have young kids sitting at the bus stop in the pre-dawn hours, and no one would be at home after school.
The other option is to run more bus routes. Sounds like a good idea, until you hear the word ‘costs’. And there goes that plan.
Recent studies have shown that a later school start time for teenagers improves grades and attendance. Crash rates were also down among teens that started school later.
One possible solution is the weekend sleep-in has to go. Sleep experts recommend that kids be up by 9am on the weekends, and get plenty of morning sunlight. Well, I will keep my blackout curtains, thank you very much. Also, sometimes a crash till noon does a body good. It’s like milk for the sleep-deprived generation.