September 2, 2002
Welcome back to school,
alarm clocks, and yawning until lunch.
"Until recently, teens
were often given a bad rap for tendencies like staying up late,
oversleeping for school, and falling asleep in class. Thanks to
several new studies of teens and their sleeping habits, however,
adults are beginning to understand - and sympathize with - these
When was the last time
you woke up for work or school before your alarm clock because you
were so well rested that you just didn't need any more sleep? How
often do you beg your alarm clock, or the person who wakes you up,
for just five more minutes?
"A component of the
National Institutes of Health, the NLHBI is launching a five-year
educational initiative to promote healthy children's sleep habits.
The effort, co-sponsored by Garfield creator Jim Davis' PAWS Inc.
studio, will target parents, teachers and health care providers....
The campaign's theme is 'Sleep Well, Do Well,' and the goal is to
encourage at least nine hours of restful sleep each night. 'The
message is that getting enough sleep each night will help you do
your best in whatever you do,' said Hunt. 'This speaks to (a child's)
need for achievement -- in school, in sports, in whatever is important
during the day, inability to focus, and impaired driving are just
a few of the results of not getting enough sleep.
"No sane observer
could defend the hours doctors in training used to work. Routine
36-hour shifts and 120-hour workweeks left many weary to the point
of hallucination during their training, and embittered for a long
time afterward by the pointless misery of the system. A slow reform
movement culminated in last week's decision by the nation's accrediting
agency for hospital training programs to enforce limits on residents'
working hours. Still, the tactic of releasing new shifts of residents
onto hospital wards every 8 or 12 hours comes with its own problems."
Few would argue against
the notion that people function better when they have had enough
sleep. It all comes down to scheduling and priorities; what needs
to move down the priority list if sleep moves up? Are you too busy
to sleep or too busy not to sleep and let you body catch up?
Question of the Week:
What are some suggestions for helping busy kids, teens, and teachers
balance their hectic lives with their need to sleep? How can they
do all they need to do and still be in a frame of mind to enjoy
it and do well?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum