Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Do Students Need Most? More Sleep

5525151796_584315bc32: KAPOOKA BABY via Compfight cc

"When I travel around to schools to speak to students, I deliver one line in my talk that kills, each and every time. The students do not simply laugh, they whoop and holler, throw their heads back in open-mouthed guffaws and shake their heads in disbelief. I would love to lay claim to the funniest educator joke of all time, but sadly, I don’t have that kind of comic game. I’m not even aiming for their funny bone when I proclaim, “In order to function at your mental and physical best, adolescents should be getting at least nine hours of sleep a night.”
For many students, nine hours of sleep is so far beyond their reality that their only logical response is laughter. Four out of five adolescents are getting less than that, and more than half of them know they are getting less sleep than they need to function well.
Surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reveal that teenagers are getting nowhere near nine hours of sleep a night. The average weeknight sleep duration for 13-year-olds hovers around 7 hours 42 minutes and decreases to 7 hours 4 minutes in 19-year-olds. And if you think your teenagers are getting enough sleep, think again. Ninety percent of parents say they believe their children are getting sufficient sleep, and yet when asked, 60 percent of teenagers report extreme daytime sleepiness.

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