Each year when summer comes to an end, the back-to-school season seems to creep up on students, parents, and teachers without warning. While students scramble to figure out schedules, learn class material, and plan time to do homework, their sleep can oftentimes be overlooked. The AASM Foundation understands and emphasizes the importance of student sleep health. This year, September 12-18, 2022 marks the third annual Student Sleep Health Week which aims to educate the public about the importance of sleep for success, well-being, and overall health.
Why Is Sleep Essential For Students?
Biologically, teenagers are more inclined to be “night owls” which conflicts with traditional early school start times. The majority of high school students do not get sufficient, quality sleep on school nights.
Sleep is an essential part of life, especially for students. Not only does sleep drastically affect physical health, but it also impacts attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, and mental health. This means that students with poor sleep will likely have worse academic and athletic performance compared to those with adequate sleep. Additionally, a recent study asserts that adolescent sleep habits, whether bad or good, affect future health outcomes in adulthood.
The AASM Foundation and Student Sleep Health
As a leader in funding sleep research projects and advocating for the increase of sleep health physicians in the medical field, the AASM Foundation is highly familiar with the implications of low-quality sleep and the benefits of consistent, healthy sleep. The AASM Foundation funds a large variety of sleep research projects and campaigns, including projects dedicated to the health and well-being of students.
One of the most notable student sleep campaigns supported by the AASM Foundation is Start School Later. Start School Later is a coalition of health professionals, sleep scientists, educators, parents, students, and concerned citizens dedicated to increasing public awareness about sleep and school hours and ensuring school start times take into account the health, safety, education, and equity of students. They are the recipient of our merit based 2021 Sleep Champion Award. Additionally, Start School Later received a Community Sleep Health Grant to fund their project that is Connecting Sleep Health Resources to State Education Requirements to Facilitate Utilization by Classroom Teachers.
We are honored to have supported such noble and important causes, among other student sleep projects.
To learn more about the third annual Student Sleep Health Week, click here.
To get help, take a look at these resources:
- Achieving healthy sleep as an educator
- Calculate your optimal bedtime with the AASM’s Bedtime Calculator