Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sleep - I never get enough

Riley Armstrong "Sleep" - video here.

When I think about sleep, I think about that song. "Sleep - I never get enough. Always waking up tired..." Sleep is one of the topics covered in the book Nurture Shock. Here are some of the things mentioned in the chapter on sleep.

*Kids today get an hour less sleep than kids did 30 years ago.

*Teens do better at school with later start times, and they feel better emotionally. Some of what we consider typical adolescent angst and behavior could actually be more about sleep deprivation! {I really appreciated the statement in the book that the reasons school systems start high schools when they do has less to do with optimal educational environments for students and usually more to do with bus schedules and other external factors}

*When kids sleep, their brains are doing hard work for development and shifting learned information from the day into more efficient storage regions.

* In one study, kids who got one hour less sleep consistently over a few days showed a gap in IQ larger than that between the average 4th grader and the average 6th grader.

*Obesity odds increase with a decrease in amount of sleep.

[Check out the book Nurture Shock to get more details on each of these statements]

What do you think? How much sleep do your kids get? Is it enough? Would you advocate for later start times for high schoolers?


  1. I advocate later start times for all kids, not just high schoolers. :) Actually my kids really need at least 10 hours of sleep right now, if they get less, they are like zombies!

  2. Actually, at their age I think they are supposed to get 10 to 12 hours sleep. Mine gets around 10 or 11 every night. For teens, it is really more about the rhythms of their bodies and when they can wind down enough to sleep. The later start times help them get the 8 or so hours they need. I thought the research that they get less sleep than 30 years ago was interesting. I wonder if we are working them harder at school or if there are too many distractions or what the reason is.

  3. Wow! That's good to know....we've always noticed huge differences when our kiddos get less than 12 hrs. Thanks for your comment!