The new school year is upon us. From bedtime battles to the misery of morning call, summertime sleep habits die hard. Late summer nights combined with early school start times, and the stresses of just being a kid, deprive our children of essential sleep. And sleep deprivation often wreaks havoc with health, academic performance, and behavior. It is an unrecognized epidemic.
From elementary school through high school and beyond, a great many of our children are chronically sleep-deprived. With more than more than 2/3 of all children having some kind of sleep problem, and most adolescents not getting enough sleep, many will struggle to meet the barrage of new challenges, demands, and emotions of a new school year. It is not widely recognized and appreciated just how pervasive and critical quality sleep is for brain development and how it directly influences daytime functioning, performance, mood, and behavior. When was the last time your doctor or school teacher asked about your child's sleep? Parents wouldn't think of letting their child skip meals or run into a busy street, but staying up late is very often of little concern. It shouldn't be.