Got Groggy Students?

Youth Specialties
December 16th, 2008

Have you ever noticed that your students perpetually seem tired? There could be a good reason for it and it isn’t just because they stay up too late playing video games, talking on the phone, or chatting on IM.

Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep, compared with the six to eight hours recommended for adults. Teenagers also tend to go to bed and wake later than adults. These biological tendencies clash with early morning high school schedules, leaving them sleepy in class. linkResearch conducted in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, school district in August 2001 found that when the system changed its starting time from 7:15 to 8:40 a.m., attendance improved and students reported getting an extra hour of sleep per weeknight. Based on years of teenage sleep research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging districts to start high schools later.

This is according to a study reported by CNN, early start times at school tend to leave high school students perpetually sleep deprived. This story left me wondering about our role as youth workers. Are we helping students live healthy lifestyles? Do our youth group meeting or small groups end at times that help get our students in bed on time? Are we modeling good sleep habits? Are we helping to educate parents that adolescent brain development requires more sleep than an adult? Have thoughts? Share them!

Youth Specialties

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