Sleep Deprivation and Education


In the Michael Jackson trial a noted sleep doctor said,

“Like a computer, the brain has to go offline to maintain cells that we keep for life, since we don’t make more,” he said. “Sleep is the repair and maintenance of the brain cells.”

An adult should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to allow for enough sleep cycles, he said.

You “prune out” unimportant neuron connections and consolidate important ones during your “slow eyed sleep” each night, he said. Those connections — which is the information you have acquired during the day — are consolidated by the REM sleep cycle. Your eyes actually dart back and forth rapidly during REM sleep.

“In REM, we are integrating the memories that we have stored during slow eyed sleep, integrating memories with previous life experiences.” he said. “We are able to make sense of things that we may not have understood while awake.

Is it possible that the problem with education is sleep deprivation rather than curriculum, teachers, length of the school year, length of the school day, start times, etc…… . Is anyone old enough to remember that 8:00 PM was bedtime on a school night? Does anyone follow that rule now? As an ex-middle school teacher I can testify that few do at that age level!  Could  something so simple yet so intuitive be the real basis of educational difficulties for both students and teachers?  I would venture a guess that today, particularly in middle and high school most  school teachers are in bed sleeping before many of their students even consider that possibility.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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