Turns out teens have so much trouble getting enough sleep because their melatonin levels are lower than in childhood, and when your kid tells you he just can't fall asleep early enough to get up on time, believe him.  It's true, Dr. Max Gomez says on CBS TV New York. It's biology.

Of course, I'm watching this while trying to wake up my son from a sleep that resembles hibernation (one morning I just couldn't, no amount of shaking his arm, yelling or threats worked, though I didn't try the one others swear by, cold water).

But it turns out that kids who are home-schooled and usually wake 20 minutes AFTER most schools have started, do better.  These kids, on average, Dr. Gomez says, sleep 90 more minutes than kids who go to regular schools,

So what?  Home-schooled kids supposedly do better -- graduating at higher rates, getting better grades and ready to jump into lessons shortly after they wake up, while other kids can take up to two hours to start functioning normally.  Scariest of all, half of all public school students do not get enough sleep.  The big deal?  They don't do as well, and what's even more worrisome, their safety is at risk.  Would you want to be driving down the street near a teen at dawn who is still bleary-eyed?

Sleep, or the lack thereof, has been blamed for a lot of things. You can get fatter if you don't sleep enough.  You'll be depressed.  Your life won't be as easy.  Etc., etc.

But let's face it. Who doesn't feel better after a good night's sleep?  It's sad to think our teens can't normally get this. But give them time. When they're my age, they won't be able to stay awake much after 8.



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