Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss the importance of children getting sufficient sleep

Let them sleep

School-aged children’s health and education are of the highest priorities. What if both were being damaged and we weren’t aware of it? What if your child’s ability to focus in the classroom, improve academically, recover, digest nutrients and develop could be traced to a single cause?

Sleep is often the unintentionally neglected resource that is vital to growth and development at any age. Hormones balanced by adequate sleep are responsible for cellular regeneration, tissue recovery from exercise or injury, defense against illness, managed stress levels, appetite, sexual development, improved energy levels and focus, and numerous other bodily functions or responses.

The American Sleep Association recommends a daily minimum of 10-13 hours of sleep for children ages 3-5, 9-12 hours for ages 6-12 and 8-10 hours for ages 13-18. Yet we continue to make our children adhere to early start times in school, interrupting a proficient recovery cycle.

Studies have shown that schools with later start times have exceptionally higher academic and sports performance and fewer disruptions in the classroom. This was achieved by simply eliminating the first hour of the school day.

This could be a solution to assist struggling districts in the Kansas City area.

Brandon Koontz