Every day, millions of children across the nation wake up before sunrise. Bleary-eyed and yawning, they walk or take the bus in the dark to make it to school on time. Depending on how they slept the night before and whether or not they had breakfast, students’ sleepiness might persist into the school day. It’s hard for students to pay attention, stay alert and behave in class if they are sleep-deprived.
New research recently published in the journal SLEEP shows that excessive daytime sleepiness (or EDS) is linked with an increased risk of attention-deficit issues, difficulty learning, hyperactivity and conduct problems.
EDS in children can be caused by medical conditions such as sleep apnea, obesity and asthma. But it can also be caused by anxiety, depression and a lack of sleep. Many students served by Communities In Schools come to school tired and unable to focus because of these problems every day. They don’t have a safe, quiet place to rest at night, and end up sleeping in fits and starts.
A few years ago, Communities In Schools of Cameron County, Texas site coordinator Cruz Ramos worked with two brothers who had been acting out in class. When she visited their home, she discovered that they were sharing a bedroom no larger than 12 feet across, about the size of a walk-in closet. The family had no electricity. The added stress of difficult living conditions affected their sleep, which in turn affected their ability to focus in school. Ramos worked to help their mother build an addition to their home, with working electricity, so that the boys had enough room to relax and sleep better.
Communities In Schools knows that one of the most important things a student needs to succeed in class is also one of the most basic: a good night’s sleep. Our site coordinators work to make sure that students have a safe place to rest at night so that they can wake up in the morning revved up and ready to learn. Whether it’s helping to build a better bedroom, like Ramos did, referring the family to a shelter or helping a family find an entirely new place to call home, Communities In Schools is committed to making sure our students have sweet dreams and bright futures.