George Lucas Educational Foundation

Sleep deprivation

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Read Susan Ohanian's daily outrage. Also see President Clinton's work combating childhood obesity in connection with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. I was struck that he attributed his recent surgery to his own sleep deprivation following the crisis in Haiti. Perhaps he and Michelle Obama need to focus on what's happening in education today if they want to see the health of our children improve. A majority of teens are getting 7 hours of sleep per night with a quarter under 6 hours. Further, with PE programs and recess being cut to save money and provide more time for test prep, kids are far less active. And, the increase in stress levels for all children increases the release of cortisol which also contributes to weight gain.

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Lisa J. Cooley's picture
Lisa J. Cooley
School Board member, parent of 2 public school students.

I did a lot of research on this issue a couple of years ago when our board agreed to address the issue. After I read tons of material and digested the data, I'm convinced half our teenagers in my district are walking around as zombies. It's a bad situation and there just seems to be nothing we can do about it! Schedules are cast in stone, athletics has major community support, and no action to benefit the mental health of kids is ever taken!

My son, an early-bird from infancy to now, stands waiting for his bus at 6:10. It's not too bad for him, but he is 13 now and if he does what's typical for adolescents, his wake-up time will get later and later.

I'm convinced that if any change is to be made, it is going to have to be state-wide.

What do you think?

dbixby001's picture
Citizen who understands Education is the most important piece in society.

Nuture Shock discusses the difference of one more hour of sleep ( Their suggestion is to start school one hour later. As a board member, how likely do you see that change happening? Obviously, it complicates many things, but if results are major...

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