Skip to main content

A Clash of Sleep and School

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers on average need 8-10 hours of sleep each night in order to fire on all cylinders the next day. Trouble is, 87 percent of them fall short. Many of them also experience what the medical community calls "phase delay"; they have more trouble falling asleep earlier in the night than in their pre-high school days, possibly due to hormonal changes, which means they want to sleep longer in the morning.

There's one big problem: Many schools start classes at roughly 7:30 a.m. If you give a kid one hour to get ready, that's a 6:30 a.m. wake up. GO back 8-10 hours and you arrive at a bedtime of 8:30-10:30. For many teens, that ain't happenin'. 

Some school districts have opted to move starting times one hour later. The results have been encouraging: lower rates of absenteeism and tardiness, improved academic performance, increased levels of safety (e.g., driving to school), and a diminished incidence of health issues and poor decision making.

Pushing school start times forward by an hour sounds simple enough, but there are obstacles to overcome. Community life often revolves around school schedules. Changing school starting time can affect traffic flow, daycare hours, businesses that employ high-schoolers, and coordination with other schools that start earlier (e.g., sports and other extracurricular activities), among other considerations.

Good nutrition and exercise hog the limelight when it comes to the pillars of good health. When proper sleep finally receives its due justice, school districts and communities may be more willing to accommodate change.


Popular posts from this blog

Your Rights When You're Pulled Over for a Supected DUI

Fact is, most people don't even know their rights if they're pulled over! Here's a quick list of the most important rights you need to know and how the conversation may go if you are pulled over:

"Do you know why I pulled you over?" It's typically the first thing you'll hear. It's also deliberately designed to get you to admit to certain behavior. Be polite and simply ask, "Why do you ask?" and then wait for a response. Do not comment. That phrase "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" is truer than you'll ever know, trust us.

"Have you had anything to drink tonight?" If you truthfully have had nothing to drink that night, say, "No." If you've had something to drink, you don't have to share that information! Telling the officer that you've been drinking will be evidence used against you. Instead, say, "I have no statement to make." While it may seem unnatura…

Questioned by the Police? - Don't Forget Your Rights

One of the special things about our country's criminal justice system is that if you are suspected or accused of committing a crime, you have certain fundamental rights. Unfortunately though, many people aren't aware of their rights, or, in the head of the moment, they forget about those rights.

For instance, citizens who find themselves being questioned and in police custody may not even be aware that they have a basic fundamental right to have an attorney present any time they are being questioned by any branch of law enforcement.

Truth is, having an attorney present if you are being quested is vitally important.

Why is that?

For one thing, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you from incriminating yourself, can make sure that you don't answer questions that are designed to trick you, and can keep officers from asking the same question over and over again. Bottom line - having a criminal defense attorney on your side can help make sure that you don't ma…

Auto Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are responsible for the deaths of approximately 50,000 Americans each year and the hospitalizations of roughly 230,000 more. Many more victims go undiagnosed.

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of TBI. Most TBI's are closed head injuries, which means that trauma sets the brain in motion inside the skull. The brain gets slammed against the interior surface of the skull, resulting in contusions and swelling. 
Trauma can also initiate rotational forces that twist and stretch the brain, which can damage axons. Brain neurons send messages via electrical impulses; axons are the carriers of these impulses. When axons are damaged, brain function is diminished. 
A condition called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs on a cellular level and leaves blood vessels and major brain structures intact. This type of damage cannot be detected by MRIs or CT scans, making DAI vastly under diagnosed and under treated. 
Brain injuries are unlike injuries to other …