Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

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An Interesting Article about Teens and Sleep

I read an interesting article in this week’s Daily News.  It reassured me that my teens’ morning grogginess is normal and confirmed my belief that a 7:20 a.m. starting time for high school is pretty silly.  On a practical level, I’m sure we won’t be changing the starting time for our high school because of the inconveniences it might pose for the adults in the equation, but it is food for thought.

The article, headlined “Benefits seen to later school start for teens,” cited a study that showed that starting school 30 minutes later resulted in greater “alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and even healthier breakfasts.”  The study results were originally published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Now, the lucky teens that were part of the study were starting at 8:00 a.m. BEFORE the change in schedule, so they were already 40 minutes later than our kids.  According to the experts, teens are in their deepest stage of sleep right before dawn and the interruption of that sleep stage can cause teens to be groggy during the day.

It’s an interesting study because it proves what I remember from my own adolescence as well as what I have seen from my girls.  And it points out a simple change that could greatly benefit our teens.  The article told that the parents at the school in the study were reluctant to try the experiment, but were eventually so impressed with the results that they made the change permanent.

I won’t be holding my breath waiting for a change in our local schools, but it is an interesting thought all the same.

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2 Comments on “An Interesting Article about Teens and Sleep”

  • Paula Patselas July 17th, 2010 12:32 pm

    I completely agree that especially for teens, later school hours would not only improve their grogginess, but most likely would greatly improve class attention, retention of material taught, participation, better test scores and overall improved education. Another reason this concept is not more popular is that a later dismissal time would interfere with after school sports and other activities, especially in late fall when daylight hours for after school practices and games is less. What is the practical solution?

  • Karen July 19th, 2010 1:05 am

    Interestingly enough, Paula, in the experiment they took that concern into consideration and shortened each class by five or ten minutes so the kids still got out of school at the same time. So the gains did not come at the cost of after-school activities. Seemed like win-win to me.

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