When I was a college freshman, I pulled my first all-nighter. After triumphantly printing out the English paper, I dragged my roommate to the dining hall for breakfast.
“Can you hand me a . . . you know . . . that, um, stick with a circle-thingy on it,” I asked her.
“You mean this?” she said, holding up a spoon.
Sleep — and the lack of it — does powerful things to the brain. My inability to recall the word “spoon” became an inside joke, but it also reveals some powerful insights that we can share with teens about why sleep benefits them.
Parents who are concerned about their adolescents’ sleep (or other!) habits will often warn kids of the consequences of their choices. But remember, teens are more motivated by pleasure than pain. So focusing on the positive outcomes of good choices is often more powerful than emphasizing the negative consequences of poor choices.
Here are three insights worth sharing.
1. Sleep is a study strategy
Students often think that it’s a choice between studying or sleeping. But it’s not an either-or proposition: sleep is a study strategy. Lack of sleep slows our mental recall — which…