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October 28, 2007

"Snooze or Lose"

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“Snooze or Lose” is an article that every parent should read because kids need their sleep or their cognitive ability may get set back for years. Here’s the key sentence: “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 symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.”

Comments

Guy,

Thanks for bringing this article to light. As a parent who enforces consistent bedtimes for my young kids, it's nice to finally have some solid research supporting that it's good for the kids, not just my husband and I being Type A parents (as my mother points out all too regularly).

Thanks!

Hi Guy,

I saw these articles discussed in various homeschool lists, and found them enlightening for both my son and myself. I have seen incredible improvements in my own child’s moods, behavior and more since I’ve been able to let him sleep in. Certainly, in an agrarian society, people rise early. But you can bet they are also very “early to bed”! We are urban people, often just getting dinner going long after our farm friends have hit the sack.

As for adult sleep needs, when I began the single parenting adventure shortly before my child turned two, I decided, “I’ll sleep when he’s nine.” Now, my son is about to turn nine, and I wish I had been aware of this information! There were ridiculous errors I made at work that I could have avoided. And many times, I did not take in the full content of an email, missing crucial instructions.

Ug. Better late than never!

Thanks for spreading the word. The more we know (and the more we act on it), the more chances we and our kids have to make the most of our lives.

Guy:
I read this article and found it compelling.

While you reference children, certainly a focus, Bronson (the author) also mentions aspects of sleep deprivation that pertain to adults. Sleep is functional to capture of memory. Lack of sleep is connected to obesity. And the reference of a prominent researcher, Dinges on productivity: "perhaps we are blind to the toll it is taking on us. The University of Pennsylvania’s David Dinges did an experiment shortening adults’ sleep to six hours a night. After two weeks, they reported they were doing okay. Yet on a battery of tests, they proved to be just as impaired as someone who has stayed awake for 24 hours straight. "

If one would sleep just another hour.. who knows how productive, how much more effective, or what better health one might have.

As a homeschooling parent, I really apprechiated your blog. I let my children sleep naturally, which means at times, they sleep a little longer, at other times shorter, but the point is, there bodies are aloud to take what they need. Of course, I do not suggest, everyone will oblige to the schedule of their children, I am lucky to be able to be flexible, working from home, and schooling at home. But I sure think, we should pay more attention to our childrens habbit. Why do teens crave sleep on the weekends? Because they need it, not because they are lazy. Why do we have more and more emotional problems with our children? Maybe because we are not listening to their needs, and conforming them toward ours only.
Thank you for posting this. I will be back, to see what else interesting you come up with next.

Claudia Blanton
Motivational Coach, Fundraiser

The statement that teens are programmed to wake up later in the morning does not make a lot of sense. Why would such programming occur? Until very recently (say the 1950s for farms, and maybe the 1930s) if you got up at 8:30 a, you would starve. Seems like that "need" for sleeping late would have been weeded out long ago. Even today, many farm kids are up before sunrise, many athletes (especially for hockey and swimming) do the same, and up until the 1980s, paper carriers were up by 5 most every day. That's a lot of different populations that seemed to do OK w/o sleeping in. Is it possible that today's teens are making indulgent choices about getting to bed, or perhaps mesmerized by monitors. Be nice to see the stats on what is keeping them so busy.

For me I took a lesson from Maggy Thatcher (the only one mind you!). The power nap gets you through the day!

Here is a useful article on the subject related to kids

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/powernap.htm

Guy:
Thanks for this (for me) very timely article. We are currently wrestling between the forces of bedtime and homework, with some ADHD thrown in the mix. This is the most important thing I've read all month.

Chad:
The internet is not free, it only seems that way because so much of it is very low cost. If you can't click one more time and let a few advertisements reach your screen, then perhaps you'd rather send Guy a check for his website costs?

Spelling corrections -
1. emotional torment
2. And to think the world

Further thought - Benjamin Franklin said, "There's enough sleep after death." Read this years ago, and have not been able to sleep easily since!! Knowing psychiatric disorders can / will happen from sleep deprivation, I often force myself to sleep using reason vs. desire.

Other thought - do dreams happen w/o enough sleep? Imagine a world where people can't dream!! Or the hell - where you do dream, but are so tired you can't remember your fantasy travels because your psyche keeps crashing.

BSOD = Better sleep or die

Bottom Line: the road to riches is through sleep and dreams!!!!

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleid=CDEFA259-E7F2-99DF-311007C6099FD8A2&chanId=sa017

BROWSE BY SUBJECT: MIND
October 23, 2007
Can a Lack of Sleep Cause Psychiatric Disorders?
Study shows that sleep deprivation leads to a rewiring of the brain's emotional circuitry
By Nikhil Swaminathan

/////////////////

Explaining you're nuts if you don't get your sleep calmed my band 100%. Kirkegaard the philosepher said only when you're in a dark hole, and then realize it, do you begin to breakdown to breakthrough depression. Lack of sleep is a great CIA torture method. Leaves no physical scars - only emothional torment.

And to think the wold is being run by hard driven business persons who don't have enough sleep..... Imagine the world if everyone had enough sleep to wake up refreshed and energized - to give a damn. To do the right thing. It would be better than peace.

Kids need up to 10 hours of sleep a night, sometimes even more... heck, I am an adult and I sleep more then the minimum 8 hours and feel great as a result. Sleep isn't a bad word, it's a necessary habit, as important as eating and working out.

Jon

snooze you will loose!

thanks!
http://www.whatis.name

Guy,
Thank you for pointing me to the sleep article. I am the parent of a teenager and it is an important topic that we work on continually. A year ago, I discovered a great book by the same title (Snooze or Lose) which provided me some great insight into the issue and tips to try. I did a review of the book. Go to http://www.everydaygivingblog.com/2006/10/does_your_teena.html to read the review.

Thank you for sharing. I republished the article in my website/ blog. The scary thing here in Asia is that many children really get to bed so very late, because of many evening or night tuition classes. This will only change when the parents decide to let their children get out of the rat race and have a better and more relaxed time.

Thanks. I am done. The whole idea behind having a blog is to share ideas. You killed that with your current feedburner feed. I now get the following:

"“Snooze or Lose” is an article that every parent should read because kids need their sleep or their cognitive ability may get set back for years. Here’s the key sentence: “A few scientists theorize...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]"

There hasn't been any indication that there would be a change in the feed. So now I can't hear your words without going to your place. Sounds like web 0.0 rather than the next generation of web.


************

Chad,

I hope that the value of the time you save by not having to click exceeds the value of the information you might have read.

Guy

Guy

While I agree with the points made in the article (from my anecdotal experience, the best hour for starting school is 8 AM), one paragraph in the article gave me a good chuckle:

"[...] where the intensity of learning that kids are going through is so much greater, yet the amount of sleep they get to process that learning is so much less"

Send your kids to school in China or Russia and you'll see intensity. The 12th grader in the US is a slacker compared to a 6th grader in these countries.

Give the US kids better hours for school and make it a lot more intense. It takes fire to cast quality steel. Goodness will ensue.

Thank you for the article! I can definitely see the affects of sleep deprivation in my two year old (not to mention myself.) Now if we can just find a way to get her to agree that sleeping is good. :)

I think it would be really important for not just high schools but colleges to pay attention to the study. I know several brilliant friends who failed freshman classes because they were scheduled at 8:30AM.

Excellent article.
My cousin is in the middle of school exams, on top of getting out of bed early, she has a really heavy workload. I don't know how some kids manage to do well at all, so much pressure.

Guy,

We are from Australia and live in the US now. We find it flabbergasting that kid started school so early here - it must be extremely hard to get kids out of bed and to school on time every morning.

Earlier this year (I don't have my archive to hand), New Scientist reported on another study that showed that teenagers wake naturally between 8.30 am and 9.30 am given no other imperative, and if they were woken earlier, they suffered symptoms exactly like jet lag.

This article shows this, too:

"where the high school start time was changed from 7:25 a.m. to 8:30. The results were startling. In the year preceding the time change, math and verbal SAT scores for the top 10 percent of Edina’s students averaged 1288. A year later, the top 10 percent averaged 1500, an increase that couldn’t be attributed to any other variable. “Truly flabbergasting,” said Brian O’Reilly, the College Board’s executive director for SAT Program Relations, on hearing the results."

I cannot understand why schools start so early when the results are in. Kids are not morning people.

Andrew

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