Montrose pioneers Habits of Mind class, with teacher Deborah Farmer Kris' lesson on teens and sleep published in the Washington Post.
Mrs. Kris' article, based on the Habits of Mind class she teaches at Montrose, is titled "Our brains benefit from sleep. Here’s why, and how parents can help teens get plenty of it."
The article opens:
Teens need sleep. We have mountains of research on the dangers of sleep deprivation — how it increases the risk of depression, makes it difficult to regulate emotions, damages health and impairs cognitive functioning. On some level, adolescents already know this. They might not be able to describe the neuroscience behind it, but they know what it feels like to be sleep deprived.
I run workshops with middle school students about learning and the brain. The week we covered sleep, they couldn’t stop talking. During our starter activity, they filled their notebooks and the whiteboard with ways sleep deprivation affects their thinking, their physical health and — most animatedly — their emotional stability. Here how they finished the sentence “When I don’t get enough sleep …“
It’s hard to focus in class; I can’t concentrate; I can’t think clearly.
My body starts to feel heavy; I get headaches; I feel clumsy.
I get so grumpy; my head spins with negative thoughts; I yell or cry for no reason; I am more sensitive; I’m impatient; my emotions are just out of whack.
Or, as one girl, summarized, “When I don’t get enough sleep, everything is harder.”