We Need More Sleep

The last two weeks in our home have been hectic. We escorted our eldest daughter, Olivia, to her freshman year in college in Massachusetts and then returned to our Southern California home. You can imagine how the bittersweet emotions of joy, pride, and good-byes melded with fatigue and the need to recalibrate our family’s every day dynamics.

Because I allowed our high-school sophomore, to miss 3 days of school to accommodate this trip, it was her schedule that was most effected. Driven to stay with her full load of classes even while away, Eliza tried to defray her workload by studying late into the night at the hotel after spending the day attending the family’s new college events. Eliza’s sleep schedule suffered even more upon our return, propelled by the need to cram for the labs, quizzes, and projects due in her (yes, only 3-day) absence.

Confession… as a parent I echoed brain-based learning research and common sense by telling Eliza, “You really need to get to sleep. Your brain needs rest and cannot make any more connections when it’s tired….”

At the same time I was admiring her persistence, stubbornness, and drive.

Well, now she has an evil cold virus.

Through the Kleenexes and cough drops, we are putting other strategies in place to catch-up and avoid those late nights. Stay tuned to hear some of the failings and successes of these strategies.

Our recent struggles have made me think of this Boston Globe’s “We Need More Sleep” article, reminding us all why sleep is important. Note too that the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP Sleep Recommendation is now encouraging school late starts, to accommodate sleep health.

So, the bottom line, for a smart, healthy, and happy student. Let them sleep…

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