Med thumb moon scene 2000

Letting teens sleep later would boost the economy   

There's no shortage of evidence to support the push for later school start times. Experts recommend that high school classes start no earlier than 8:30am. Only about 15 percent of the country's public schools, research suggests, are actually following suit, citing logistical difficulties and financial burden as reasons to keep forcing teens to defy their biological clocks. But the RAND Corporation has released new report — the first to model the nationwide costs associated with school start times — showing considerable economic benefits to delaying the morning bell. The report estimates that later start times would save the US about $9 billion a year, mainly on account of improved academic performance and reduced rates of car accidents caused by drowsy teenagers. [Washington Post]

It's time to take snoring seriously

Snoring is often treated as an annoying behavior that's still sort of funny. Consider, for instance, the well-worn sitcom trope of the snoring husband. But now that we, as a culture, are taking sleep more seriously, isn't it time to acknowledge snoring as the debilitating health problem and "not-so-silent scourge of cohabitation" that it is? As one spouse-of-a-snorer put it, "snoring is considered too much of a minor and even comical issue, not even up there with ‘real’ marital issues like finances and infidelity ... I’m here to tell you that it is.”' [The Cut]

Night moves 

I love to run at night. And, yes, I know that people say it's hard to sleep if you work out too close to bedtime. But, actually, when it comes to the best time of day to exercise to get a solid night's rest, the research is somewhat hazy. And, since my body barely functions in the morning, it's evening exercise or naught (despite my best efforts) for this owl. I choose moonlit runs. [Van Winkle's]

Got it from their mommas 

Kids with insomni-moms fall asleep later, get less sleep and spend less time in deep sleep than the offspring of healthy sleepers, according to a new study from the University of Warwick and the University of Basel. For the study, researchers analyzed sleep data from almost 200 healthy children, age 7-12, and their parents. But, while clinical-grade sleep problems in mothers predicted poor sleep quality in children, researchers found no connection between dads' and kids' sleep struggles. [University of Warwick]

Napping may inhibit learning in children with Down syndrome

It's become dictum in sleep science that naps boost learning and various cognitive skills. But Jamie Edgin, a psychologist at the University of Arizona, has a hunch that, for children with Down syndrome, naps actually inhibit learning and memory acquisition. Her hypothesis hinges on the notion that Down syndrome children continue to take regular naps through later stages of development than typically developing children, who usually transition out of daily naps around 3 or 4 years old. Afternoon naps after that age may make it hard for Down syndrome kids to get the deep nighttime sleep necessary for language development. Edgin is gearing up for a novel research project to see how eliminating naps affects learning in kids with Down syndrome. [Green Valley News]