Another dot in the blogosphere?

Sleeping giant

Posted on: August 7, 2021

The article linked in the tweet above gave me a case of déjà vu. It outlined what other similar articles have reported about sleep:

  • Kids need their sleep
  • They are not getting enough partly because school starts too early
  • Adolescents sleep later due to developmental changes

The only newsworthy item was a benefit of the pandemic: As kids were staying home from school, they were sleeping longer.

Citing a study conducted during the “circuit breaker” period last year, Dr Lim said that with children waking up 55 minutes later on average due to enforced home-based learning, those in primary school gained an extra 30 minutes of sleep, while students in secondary school level slept 56 minutes longer compared to pre-pandemic times.

Unfortunately, the article returned to form. The pros of changing our policies and practices were weighed against the cons. For example:

  • One big pro: Kids perform better academically if they get optimum amounts of sleep.
  • One big con: We need to change transportation schedules if we are to accommodate later school start times.

The big con seems be such an immovable object that sleep ends up in a hard place. I am tempted to call the con a sleeping giant.

According to the report, one expert suggested that telecommuting enforced by the pandemic resulted in less worker transport. When will we wake up to the idea that the problem is an opportunity to provide a benefit to kids and take advantage of changing travel patterns?

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