Friday, December 14, 2018

Get More Sleep

I mentioned before that I had loved the book Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker. It has changed my habits.  Now the University of Washington finds that a later school start is improving outcomes for highschoolers. Of course it does.

The difficulty is that parents want the extracurriculars, especially sports, as much as the students do. I was tied for the most activities in highschool according to the yearbook, in a class of 424.  And that wasn't the half of it, as I had other activities unrelated to the school. Church. Y. Music. Theater. Football.  I now think those things were not very valuable. There is some value in working together toward a common goal.  There is some value for the whole student body, and even the community at large, to have something to cheer for.  Just not a whole lot of value. Not compared to being awake in class, and marginal kids having less time to get in trouble.

School should be school. I didn't think so twenty years ago, but I think so now.


lelia said...

At one time I wanted to run for school board on the platform that high school wouldn't start until 10 am at the earliest and then end at 5 pm. Extracurricular could happen before school. I think every store owner would have voted for me.

Sam L. said...

Some of us older folks don't sleep as well as we used to. I did better last night, though.

RichardJohnson said...

From the link:
Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

My elementary and junior high days began at 8:45 a.m. My high school homeroom began at 8:15, though classes didn't begin until 8:25. In support of the later beginning, I present my getting to school history. For the first 3 years of high school, I got on the school bus at 7:25 for the 8 mile ride to school. Those at the far end of town got on the bus around 7:00. For my senior year, I hitched. I could get out the door at 7:45- 20 minutes later than the school bus drove by- and make it to school in time for the 8:15 home room bell. On occasion, I got out of bed as late as 7:40 and still got to school on time, leaving home by 7:45 or a couple of minutes later. I would add that my senior year had a much more demanding workload, with 2 AP classes, so I often studied until 11:30-midnight, so those extra 20 minutes of sleep were appreciated.

My high school had plenty of time for after school activities with that schedule.

Donna B. said...

Why only high school kids?

Texan99 said...

I've never been an early riser. For a while my high school was so crowded that it adopted flexible schedules, which let me choose a 9:30-4 schedule instead of 8-2:30, which was heavenly.