Or at least make sure your kids do.

Kids not Get­ting Enough Sleep
Mean­while, Experts Move to Improve Aware­ness for Adults

“The gen­er­al pub­lic does not know that it’s not nor­mal to be sleepy dur­ing the day,” says Mark W. Mahowald, MD, direc­tor of the Min­neso­ta Region­al Sleep Dis­or­ders Cen­ter in Minneapolis.

I can’t say I’m ter­ri­bly sur­prised, as I’ve seen more and more kids in the last 20 years who have no set sched­ules and con­sume lots of caf­feine and far more sug­ar than was nor­mal when I was a kid. School sched­ules are cre­at­ed around the need to share bus­es and oth­er trans­porta­tion resources rather than what’s healthy for the chil­dren. It real­ly feels like the school day is much longer than it was when I was a child, too—I’m not sure of how many actu­al hours I spent in school. I know that I had lots of free time, though. Of course, that was before the days of manda­to­ry home­work (make­work) at all grade lev­els in an attempt to make the school’s cur­ricu­lum seem more aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly rigorous.

It’s one thing when adults aren’t get­ting enough sleep, but kids are way over­sched­uled and over­stressed, too.

I did­n’t have out­side activ­i­ties sched­uled dur­ing ele­men­tary and mid­dle school—just school, church, chores, and by mid­dle school, work. Okay, I was in Girl Scouts and 4H, but nei­ther last­ed all that long. In 7th or 8th grade I start­ed hav­ing band prac­tice before school a few days a week, but that was it. By high school, I had lots of extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties, though not any­thing more out of school (just more hours of work, chores, and church). And I still had free time!

Most kids I know have sports or sim­i­lar activ­i­ties from kinder­garten on (yes, Katie did, too). Dance, music lessons, tutor­ing (even for those who aren’t hav­ing trou­ble at school, just to “get ahead”). They are up before dawn, go to school and don’t get home ’til 4 or lat­er, then go on to all those oth­er things. Fam­i­lies grab what­ev­er food they can on their way hith­er and yon. Kids get home and in bed late—well after the 9 pm bed­times I remem­ber until my ear­ly teens or so.

Um, I real­ly just meant to share the link, not rant.

I’m remind­ed again of how much I wish shad­owkatt’s dance and mar­tial arts class­es could be sched­uled dur­ing the day instead of the evenings. It’s very dif­fi­cult for her to get to sleep after all that activity!

Cur­rent Music: The Franken Fac­tor on <a href=“”>Air America</a>
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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