What Parents Can Do When Sleep and School Don't Mix


I don't know about the morning routine in your home, but getting my son up in time for school on Monday is like pulling a grouchy sleep-deprived badger from its hole. He’s groggy, mumbles one-word answers…and he’s supposed to take a math test when he gets to class? This can't be good. (Parents, can you relate?)

As if having a teen isn't enough of a challenge, we've made it harder by depriving them of sleep, what Shakespeare poetically calls that "good dullness." 

Teens have sleep needs and sleep schedules that are different from adults'. They gulp sleep. It's like oxygen. But because so many schools start earlier than 8:30 am (against doctor’s urging), only 15 percent of teens get an adequate amount of sleep, prompting an epidemic of overtiredness among adolescents. 

So what can parents and teachers do to help teens when sleep and school don't mix? We can:

Think of the fresh, ready-to-learn, awake geniuses your kids could be with the right amount of rest. We all need to count sheep—teens most of all.

Click here to find out what two teens think about later school start times.