Sleep: “The Lost Hour”
“According to surveys by the National Sleep Foundation, 90% of American parents think their child is getting enough sleep.
The kids themselves say otherwise: 60% of high schoolers report extreme daytime sleepiness. A quarter admit their grades have dropped because of it. Depending on what study you look at, anywhere from 20% to 30% are falling asleep in class at least once a week.
The raw numbers more than back them up. Half of all adolescents get less than seven hours of sleep on weeknights. By the time they are seniors in high school, according to studies by Dr. Frederick Danner at the University of Kentucky, they’re averaging only slightly more than 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Only 5% of high school seniors average eight hours….
It is an overlooked fact that children — from elementary school through high school — get an hour less sleep each night than they did thirty years ago. While modern parents obsess about our babies’ sleep, this concern falls off the priority list after preschool. Even kindergartners get thirty minutes less a night than they used to…
Using newly developed technological and statistical tools, sleep scientists have recently been able to isolate and measure the impact of this single lost hour. Because children’s brains are a work in progress until the age of 21, and because much of that work is done while a child is asleep, this lost hour appears to have an exponential impact on children that it simply doesn’t have on adults…
A few scientists theorize that sleep problems during formative years can cause permanent changes in a child’s brain structure — damage that one can’t sleep off like a hangover. It’s even possible that many of the hallmark characteristics of being a tweener and teen — moodiness, depression, and even binge eating — are actually just symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.”
– Nurture Shock (2009) by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman; pages 30 – 31
- “The Lost Hour”: Impact of Pushing School Start Time Back By One Hour
- “The Lost Hour”: Impact On Learning and School Performance
- “The Lost Hour”: Depression