Fittest loser
Article posted: 4/8/2013 5:24 AM

Home-schoolers get more sleep, study finds

  • Article
text size: AAA
By Valerie Strauss

A new study of a few thousand students found that home-schoolers get more sleep than students at traditional public and private schools. What are the consequences? It may be that home-schooled students are better prepared to learn on a daily basis because they get more sleep, researchers said.

The study was conducted by researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver, who studied the sleep patterns of 2,612 students, including nearly 500 home-schoolers. Home-schooled adolescents slept an average of 1 hours more per night than students in brick-and-mortar private and public schools. Students in the traditional schools started class, on average, 18 minutes before the home-schooled kids, on average, got up in the morning.

Advertisement

Sleep researchers have said for years that teenagers have different biorhythms than younger and older people, and have a hard time going to bed before 11 p.m. Then they have to get up early to get to high school, which often starts well before 7:30. As a result, the majority of teens don't get the 8 to 9 hours of sleep that experts say they should, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Meanwhile, elementary school students, who can fall asleep earlier, generally start class later than high school students. As a result, a growing number of school systems in the Washington area and beyond are considering starting high school later.

"We have a school system that is set up so that the youngest children, who are awake very early in the morning, start school latest, and our adolescents, who need sleep the most, are being asked to wake up and go to school at a time when their brains should physiologically be asleep," Lisa Meltzer, a sleep psychologist and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying in this article on the National Jewish Health website.

"Adolescents need nine hours of sleep a night and if they're only getting seven hours, on average, by the end of the week they are a full ten hours of sleep behind schedule," she was quoted as saying, "and that impacts every aspect of functioning."

Teenagers have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m. because of a shift in melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep, in their brains.

The study concluded:

• 55 percent of teens who were home-schooled got the optimal amount of sleep per week

• 24.5 percent of students at traditional public and private schools got the optimal amount of sleep per week.

Here are some tips from Meltzer on how to help teens get the sleep they need:

• Get all electronics out of the bedroom.

• Don't look at any screens 30 to 60 minutes before bed time.

• Set a consistent routine.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.