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How to Help Our Sleep-Deprived Teens Thrive

Experts say that chronic sleep deprivation among teenagers has been linked to worse academic performance and mental and physical health problems, substance abuse, and drowsy driving. Because of the litany of public health risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., as even 60 extra minutes of sleep per night can have major benefits in staving off long-term health issues.

My guest today, Lisa L. Lewis, advocated for California’s law for a later start time in High Schools and recently published a book called “The Sleep-Deprived Teen.” We talk today about the consequences of the lack of sleep in our teens and how we can help them thrive. 

Let’s dig in!

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.

What You Will Learn: 

  • How much sleep do teens need?
  • What happens when teens don’t get enough sleep? 
  • What has the research shown between school start times and teen sleep?
  • What time do high schools currently start around the country, where else has this been done, and what’s on the horizon?
  • What are some ways parents can help their teens get enough sleep?
  • What are some helpful ideas about getting buy-in from your teenager? How do you actually make them understand the need for more sleep?
  • Best practices for teens to develop a sleep routine.
  • How can parents become advocates for later school start times?

Where to find Lisa:

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And here is the episode typed out!

Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone, and you have come to the right place.

Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.

I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and becoming more of the mom and the woman that you want to be, welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.

SHERYL:  Welcome, Lisa, to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m so happy that you’re here.

LISA:  Thank you so much for having me. 

SHERYL:  I’m excited to talk about your recently released book, “The Sleep Deprived Teen, Why Our Teenagers Are So Tired, and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive.” This book has received raving reviews from not only the media but experts and parents, and educators. 

I am excited to dig into this. Because, oh my gosh, it is such an issue with my listeners trying to get their kids out of bed. I want to launch in first and ask you to share a little bit about yourself and what motivated you to write this book.

LISA:  Yes, it’s a huge topic. It’s something I have been immersed in for the last seven years. Because my interest in this was piqued when my oldest, my son, was starting high school. So that was seven years ago. 

It was the fall of 2015 when he was entering his freshman year of high school. And at that point, our local public high school started at 730 in the morning. So it was incredibly early, and it was the earliest he’d ever had to go to school all the way through. I was the one driving him to school every day, and we’d leave the house at 710. 

I was alert. As an adult, it’s not my preference to be up and out that early. But he was not in any shape or form alert and ready to be going off for a full day of learning. So, put on my journalism hat and started looking into this. I was trying to figure out why is it that our school starts so early

I quickly found out a few things. The first was that it had started at 730 for years, years and years. I talked to other parents, even people who had gone to the same high school themselves. And they couldn’t remember a time when it hadn’t started so early. But then I also realized it wasn’t just our high school. This wasn’t just some fluke. This was actually the case in so many communities around the country. 

And 730, obviously, is super early, but there are also high schools out there even today, starting as early as seven in the morning. Just incredibly early. So I started looking into this, and it just so happened. The timing was a bit fortuitous. When I started researching and writing about this, the issue itself was just hitting a critical mass. 

So again, this was 2015. The previous year, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a very influential policy statement, recommending that middle and high school start no earlier than 830. Because these really early start times impact our teen sleep, and that has so many ramifications for their health and well-being. 

So I kept writing about this. And one of the articles I wrote came out in the fall of my son’s sophomore year. So 2016, it was an op-ed that ran in the Los Angeles Times. It’s called “Why school should start later in the day.” And that ended up being read by one of our California state senators. And he, at that point, had his own high schooler – his daughter was just starting freshman year. So this was an issue that resonated with him, and he decided to look into the issue further with an eye toward introducing a bill on the topic. And that is what happened. I got swept up in that whole process. 

I should backtrack and mention that in addition to writing about it, I also wanted to be an advocate locally. So I identified this resource, this group called Start School Later. It’s a national nonprofit, and I started my own local Chapter. Well, Senator Portantino, his office had also identified Start School Later as a resource and reached out to them, and they looped in all of us who were chapter leaders in the state of California. 

I actually knew about this even before the bill was introduced in 2017. And so that’s how I got swept up in that, and I ended up testifying at the Capitol. It was a two-and-a-half-year legislative journey. And that’s a huge eye-opening process. If you have not been involved in politics before, as I have not, that was just astounding and an incredible learning experience. 

But that bill finally got signed into law in 2018 And then just went into effect this past July. And we are the only state as of now that has a law setting any kind of minimum of how early schools are allowed to start. And so, as an outgrowth of that whole process, and again, this has literally been one of my main areas of focus these last seven years, the book came out of that. And so yeah, the book came out in June, the law passed in July, and it has been a very busy 2022.

SHERYL:  I am just struck by the timing of everything. You wrote that article. He sees it, he has a teenager, he gets it, and just how it was the snowball effect. 

LISA:  I would never have predicted that was gonna happen. As a writer, you write, you put something out there, and then it’s out in the world. And you never know what might come from it. I mean, this was definitely something I would not have predicted. But I’m amazed and grateful at the way it all unfolded.

SHERYL:  Wow, well, I am so grateful to you for what you’re doing. And that law because I would say this is one of the top stressors for my listeners, dealing with a teenager that, especially after the pandemic, we could talk so much about how that’s affected them. But trying to get them up in the morning. And even setting multiple alarms and trying to drag them out. 

I have a mom that was just telling me her daughter has to be at volleyball at 6 am the morning because schools start so early that then they have to get there early for the sport. And just what happens in the morning before she gets her there? The fights that ensue and how difficult it is. So I would love for you to speak to what are some of the costs that our kids or teens are experiencing because of sleep deprivation. 

LISA:  Oh, absolutely. Being sleep deprived has no positive benefits. I mean, just to put that out there, nobody does anything any better as a result of being sleep-deprived. But especially for our teens. Well, I guess I should backtrack and just mention that teens need more sleep than adults do. So they’re still growing. 

Obviously, you see that the immense physical transformation that happens it’s also a major phase of brain development. So up until age 18, they should still be getting eight to 10 hours every single night. And just to make sure people are aware of that because I think sometimes people just hear eight hours and they think, “Oh, well, that’s enough for us as adults. Yeah, that’s great because we need seven tonight. So it’s right there in the middle.” 

For teens, that’s the minimum they should be getting. So, unfortunately, far too many teens are not getting enough sleep. And that does have implications across the board. I would say probably the biggest one, especially now, coming out of the pandemic in these last few years, especially, is the fact that when you are sleep deprived, it exacerbates mental health issues. So depression, anxiety, and suicidality, because our emotional resiliency is lower when we’re sleep-deprived

And this is something that, as adults, we intuitively understand when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more reactive, you’re more impulsive, and you’re not in as good of a mood. And you layer that then on top of all the other stressors, and then particularly if there are mental health issues, it can heighten those. 

Being sleep-deprived also increases impulsive behaviors, which unfortunately has some very real ramifications when you talk about suicidality. And teens are already more impulsive than adults because they are still going through this very important phase of brain development. It’s the second most major phase after the initial phase of pruning and remodeling and connectivity between the brain cells, but also between the regions. And they don’t have the same executive functioning skills that we do as adults. 

So, impulse control already is not in place to the same degree. So that’s huge. And then there are implications for, as I mentioned, pretty much everything else, school performance, even the basics, like getting there, tardies’ attendance, actual school performance, and graduation rates. If you’re an athlete, it affects your performance out on the field. If you’re a driver, which so many teens are, and their new drivers, well, being a drowsy driver makes things even more dangerous. So really, across the board, as I mentioned, there is nothing that we do better as a result of being sleep-deprived. And there are so many things that we do quite much worse.

SHERYL:  I thought it was very interesting when I was following you, and I was reading and watching some things that in the 1950s, the school didn’t start until – what, nine?

LISA:  Yeah, nine used to be sort of about the average start time for our high schools, but that has gradually drifted earlier over the years to 730 or even seven. And then you were just referencing volleyball, all these optional zero-period activities that our kids have. So they’re, starting at nine, and that just doesn’t happen anymore. 

But what was so interesting was why the start times have drifted earlier, it wasn’t because it was better for students. It was because, by and large, because of the transportation because of the school buses, so as a way to cut costs, and trim budgets, schools, a lot of this also had to do with suburbanization and the growth of these larger consolidated high schools. 

And so then you have larger distances. And so then, busing became a thing. But then, to save money, a lot of districts decided, “well, we can just use one fleet of buses for elementary, middle, and high by staggering those drop-off and pick-up times.” But at the time they were doing this, this research on adolescent sleep, which we’ll get into, was not widely known the fact that teens naturally shift to a later sleep schedule. 

And so teens were put into often by default into that earliest time slot, thinking, “Oh, well, they’re the oldest. They should be able to handle it.” Well, now we know because there’s all this research that has come out that no, in fact, if anything, it should be the opposite. And yet, in so many communities, we have what I call these legacy schedules that have really just endured long past the point where they should.

SHERYL:  I was just struck by – I feel for our teenagers because they’re so stressed out anyway. There’s so much scheduled, and the amount of homework they have now and the pressures and all the after-school stuff they’re involved in, getting up so early just compounds that stress.

LISA:  Absolutely. So and part of that, too, getting up early for a teen, they’re on a different sleep schedule than we are and when they were little. So this is another key piece. One key bit of information that not everyone always knows is that, yes, teens really do need eight to 10 hours of sleep. But another is that they have a circadian rhythm shift that takes place at the onset of adolescents, meaning their sleep schedule shifts. 

So when you have a little kid, they bound out of bed at six mornings, and they’re alert, and they’re ready to go. And then they fall asleep relatively early in the evening. That’s their schedule. Well, for teens, that shifts later. So the teens are not, in general, feeling sleepy until about 11 o’clock at night. 

And this has to do also with sleep is a very complex process. I should just mention that. And I’m not a sleep scientist, but I wanted to understand a bit and share this, so I go through in the book some of these basics. 

So melatonin is the hormone that primes us to feel sleepy. It begins to be released later in the evening, at adolescence and doesn’t subside until later in the morning. And so that is why our teen sleep schedule shifts. And so if they’re not feeling sleepy till about 11 o’clock at night, and then, of course, many of them are not going to bed even as early as 11 am. They need eight to 10 hours of sleep. 

You can see why when school starts to really cut into that sleep, and is really the primary driver, and this is a large part of this teen sleep deprivation crisis. I do not think a crisis is too strong of a word.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I agree. I think crisis and epidemic are very appropriate with what our kids are going through with school and everything starting right early and not getting enough sleep. So I’m curious, what is the difference that you have seen since they have a later start time? Have you seen some? Have you been hearing how it’s going and the difference it’s making?

LISA:  Yeah, I should also mention that California is the first state to enact this on a statewide basis. But there are countless communities around the country that have done this over, literally, over the last several decades. The first school to change its start times based on the research was back in 1996. In Edina, Minnesota. I mean, that is how long this research has been around. And so this has happened in so many different communities. 

The problem is it’s been done on a patchwork basis, and not enough schools and districts have changed. But what has been found time and time again is when schools shift to later start times, teens get more sleep. And one study that I was blown away by when I read was back in 2017. The data came out when I was in the midst of helping with California law. 

A researcher went back and looked at schools in seven different states that had changed their start times over a period of years. I’m just looking at those 30,000 high schoolers in 29 High Schools in seven states. They went back and looked two years later to take a look. And what they found was the average graduation rates at those schools went up from 79% to 88%

To give you a sense of what this means, from a school perspective, let alone what it means for our teens’ health and well-being. But yes, it’s one of those things where there’s a misconception that “oh, well, schools will just shift to a later start time, and kids will just stay up later, and it’ll be a wash.” And that is not the case, and teens do stay up a little bit later in the evening. But they more than make up for it with the additional sleep they’re able to gain in the morning. 

So here in California, it’s a little early. It’s only been in place since the beginning of the school year, August or September. But I’ve seen because there have been all sorts of coverage, students really talking about how much better they feel when they’re able to get enough sleep, which makes sense, right? I mean, if you’re asked to get up at the crack of dawn, and you’re still feeling sleepy, that’s not a good feeling.

SHERYL:  Yeah, here and in the north of Chicago, they have late start days. So I think if I remember it accurately because my daughter’s since graduated from high school, I think it was two days, two or three days a week that they’ve been doing that. 

When they get to school, their brains are more awake and engaged. It’s less stressful. Therefore, it was just the mornings wasn’t so rushed and crazy. It was much more relaxed to get up and make your breakfast. You have a little pad time so that she’s not running, running, running. It felt better to me just having those days.

LISA:  Oh, yeah, absolutely. And so many of our kids are just going nonstop. From the minute they wake up, they have so much going on. And that’s another contributor. I think it’s so important to acknowledge just the amount of real pressure that our teens are under these days and the number of activities they have going on. 

Because all of that contributes to that and they need to have some downtime. It is so important because sleep is important, but also having just some time for rest for downtime. And it’s a tricky issue because kids are doing this because it’s part of the expectation, and it’s part of what they feel they need to do to be successful, and to get into a good college, etc. 

And it can be too much. It really can. So one of the recommendations, in fact, for parents and teens to can do this is to really take a hard look at whether their teen is overscheduled, where you can literally just sketch out the number of hours that are devoted in any given day to not just being in school, but the amount of homework for each class they’re taking. 

Because many kids are taking advanced or AP classes, which of course, have a heavier homework load than the amount that they have allotted for practice, whether it’s sports, Speech, Debate, or a job. And you add up all of that time and see if there’s even a window left of eight to 10 hours to give them the opportunity to be able to get enough sleep. Because if you add up all those commitments, and you see that, literally, there are not even eight to 10 hours left, it might be time to reevaluate.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I love that question thinking about where’s my kid really over-scheduled. This can actually impact their mental and emotional health, where their stress level is really high. And then because they’re studying really late. Did you see any connections to them trying to have that downtime? And so then they’re staying up later just to have some sort of downtime, so then they’re on their phones. So what do you do about that?

LISA:  Oh, tech is such a huge issue. I have a whole chapter about tech in my book. And it’s an issue that affects us as adults, too, right? I mean, it is insidious. AI tech has infiltrated our lives so much that it’s something that can be very difficult sometimes to manage. And part of that is because these devices and these apps were designed to be deliberately immersive. 

So it isn’t just that our teens are weak-willed. We are engaging with these devices exactly as they were intended for us to do. So even as an adult, if you think about it, if you’re watching a TV show, and you’re streaming it, and at the end of the show, it just has that little countdown. And if you don’t do anything, boom, you’re in the next episode like that was a deliberate decision by somebody at some point to keep us just watching. And it’s the same when you think about tech. The teen brain is even more primed to respond to rewards

SHERYL:  Dopamine reinforcement.

LISA:  Exactly. When you’re looking at your app, and you’re looking, did I get enough likes on this post, or if you’re leveling up in a video game, those are all feeding into that. So to set the stage for what we’re up against. And tech is such a critical part of how our teens socialize. That really is true, and that is valid. 

And it was the same way when I was growing up. I would spend hours talking on the telephone. Now, it’s these other ways of communicating. So it really does have a place in their lives. But to your point, it can be too much. And if they’re on too late at night, it can be literally cut into sleep time. 

That and then the fact that what our teens are doing online is often engaging and stimulating. So that’s kind of revving them up. So those are the two main ways that tech use can impact sleep. And as an aside, I was really surprised to find out when I talked to some of these sleep scientists that it wasn’t blue light being the primary driver of stealing their sleep. That’s a factor. 

But these other two were even more important because blue light is something that these backlit devices emit. And blue light is something that primes us to feel alert. So that’s also in the mix. But again, the primary ways that tech tends to be impacting sleep, or the fact that it’s taking away from sleep time and that it’s revving us up. 

So to your question, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends no tech use an hour before bedtime. So those are the official recommendations. It can be a process getting to that point, though, particularly when you have teens. If you haven’t had these kinds of rules in place all along, it needs to be more of an ongoing discussion; they have to buy into it. 

It helps immensely if we as parents are setting a good example and walking the talk. So a best practice is to get devices out of the bedrooms and charge them in a central location that meets our devices too. So it’s not just your teen who needs to do this. Another best practice is to encourage teens to develop a winddown routine. So this is similar to what we did as parents for them when they were little. 

You’d read them a book, and you’d be snuggling. You have this transition time for getting ready for bed. So this transition time is still essential, even for our teens for us as adults, because our brains don’t just flip off – you don’t just flip the switch and go, “Okay, boom, I’m gonna go to sleep.” 

So this transition time helps you wind down and also have a set series of steps because then that also helps prime you. “Oh, I’m now in this mode.” And so, it’s reading a book, perhaps, an old school book and actual print book, ideally, not on your Kindle, or taking a warm bath. It’s doing something that is helping you, become disengaged from all that go, go go, of the day, and transition for the evening. 

So that’s another tip to help encourage them to develop their own winddown routine. And then, just to make sleep a priority, as I mentioned, to be walking the talk to demonstrate that we as parents are also taking steps or doing these kinds of things ourselves.

SHERYL:  Yeah, those are such good tips. And also to include yourself in it and to have these ongoing discussions. Because, as we were talking about before we got on here, it’s hard sometimes to get their buy-in. Why have those conversations about why this is so important at a good time and to make that take it away an hour before bed? They’re not going to like it. Just know that they’re not going to like it, and have a discussion beforehand about why it’s important because I don’t think kids hear it. But when you think about brain development and how it’s impacting their mental health, it really is a big deal.

LISA:  It really is. And these are oftentimes ongoing discussions. Because it isn’t just where you’ll say, “hey, here’s the best practice,” and they’re just gonna say, “Oh, thanks, Mom, I really appreciate that.” So particularly, if you haven’t had these kinds of tech rules in place, it can be a process of getting their buy-in because it might be where they need to experience it for themselves. 

I talked to many sleep experts as part of this, trying to gather all these tips when I was writing the book, but it’s even things like, which again, makes sense, at a minimum, turn off the notifications and the sounds on your phone.

So if it is going to be in the room, at a minimum, you need to do that. Because even as adults, there are studies out there of when people wake in the middle of the night, they get back on their phones, which clearly there is nothing going on, but you need to just check and see if somebody happened to have sent you an email. 

Or asking them, “well, why don’t you try putting your phone on the other side of the room and see, how did that go?” Because if they personally experience it, it’s probably going to be more impactful.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I love that. You’re saying that too. That happened with my daughter, who was putting it away earlier. And I asked her, “how do you notice you’re feeling?” And she said, “I feel a lot better.” So she started saying how she was feeling better, and that was a motivator.

LISA:  That is exactly the perfect approach.

SHERYL:  Yeah, to get them to see that they feel better. So what has helped you with your kids? Has this been a process for you? Because you’ve written this book, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your kids are proud of you. But they’re not like, “Okay, mom. I’m gonna get 10 hours of sleep tonight.”

LISA:  Right. No, it’s definitely been a process and a discussion. So I have a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old. So my 17-year-old daughter has – they both heard me talk about it over the last several years, but she’s taken some steps on her own. 

For instance, sometimes, she’ll decide to take Instagram off her phone if she’s doing it too much and wants to take a break. And then she can always reload it later. Steps like that to sort of manage the technology as opposed to the technology managing us, which, as I mentioned, was designed to do that, unfortunately. 

So we do have to, as the users of it, exert some control back over the process. For a while, she had these little lights strung up around the ceiling in her room, and they flashed different colors. And so, at one point, I was telling her that blue was not the color she wanted to have in the evening. She wanted to have warm lights in orange or pink tones. 

And so that was something that was an easy thing for her to do. And she said, “Oh, that’s interesting.” My son’s away at college. And so this is another key piece, which is, they’re not always going to be ideally under our roofs. They are going to move out. And so they need to be able to manage this for themselves. 

So helping them take ownership of it and believe that this is true and make some of these changes and take these steps is so important. Because we’re not always going to be there to ensure “go charge your phone in the kitchen.” 

We’re not going to call them up every night and see if they’re doing it. So ultimately, they have to be responsible for it. And I think that’s another really key point in part why you can’t just issue these rules and make it happen because they’re not really bought in, so it may not last.

SHERYL:  Yeah. It made me think about how easy it is for me if I’m watching Netflix, as you said, and I have to think to myself, I am going to be tired and not feel good tomorrow if I don’t turn the TV off right now. I think even saying that out loud. We can model that for our kids, like, “I’m tempted to stay on here, but I’m gonna turn it off because I know I’m not going to feel good tomorrow.”

LISA:  Exactly, and vocalizing so they are aware because it’s a great thing to do for ourselves, but it is also teaching them. 

SHERYL:  Yeah. And then we struggle with it too. So what can we do? 

LISA:  I was guilty of doom scrolling, especially earlier this year. I would be on my phone, looking through because I’ve got the various apps. So there are news sites, and just spending so much time doing that, and realizing that is not healthy. 

And so I actually set some limits on my phone where there are controls that you can go in on your phone and set where most of the apps will go to sleep at a certain time. So I set 930 as the time to do that. And it’s not that I can’t override it. But that really helps because it’s there. And it is that reminder, “oh, maybe it’s time now to turn this off and move on to something else.”

SHERYL:  I love that. That’s a great idea because it has become a habit. I started getting in my bed and looking at my phone, like, “What am I doing?”

LISA:  Right? I would end up being on the phone rather than reading the book that I intended to be reading.

SHERYL:  Exactly, exactly. So in closing, how can parents become advocates for their school districts? You mentioned the one organization, a not-for-profit that you’re a part of, and they can get your book because you have such wonderful ideas in your book and digging deeper into what parents can do. But how can we be changed to bring about this change?

LISA:  Yeah, it’s a great question. So I actually have a couple of chapters where I kind of detail specifically advocating for later school start times. And this was based on my experience here in California. Some of the best practices because this group starts school later than I’d mentioned they’re terrific resources. 

It’s a nonprofit that has been around since 2011. And it’s a way to share information and gather resources because there are communities where this has been done. 

But if you’re just getting started in your community, one of the things would be not to do it on your own to get together with some other parents. Start a group. If you want to start the Chapter, that’s great. But even just getting together with other parents who feel the same way, starting a Facebook group, bringing it to the PTA, have a meeting on the topic. 

I actually do go in and speak at schools and parent organizations because it’s exactly this kind of thing. We’re helping set this common basis of understanding why sleep is so important. It is a pretty essential step so that people understand why you’re talking about changing start times. 

I know we probably don’t have time to get into all of it right now. But when you change start times, there are logistical issues, and it does have a ripple effect. And so those are the kinds of things that people sometimes, if they don’t understand why we’re doing it, it can be too easy to just focus on, “oh, that’s not going to be convenient. That’s going to mean that this sports practice has to start 30 minutes later?”

But these kinds of issues can be addressed successfully. And they have been in every other community that’s done this, but it takes time. And more importantly, you sort of need to have set this foundation of understanding, to begin with, because teen sleep deprivation is a public health issue. So having people understand why this is being done and having people understand the realities of teen sleep.

I would recommend as the first step, really just so that people understand the scope of the issue and what’s at stake, and then you can start talking about why we are doing this, but not to let logistics end up being the primary focus, the primary focus is teen sleep and the fact that it’s a public health issue.

SHERYL:  Wow. So you go into this more in your book, so they can get your book, and you can help them in the book to walk through some of these things.

LISA:  Absolutely. Yeah. And it does take time. That’s the reality. I started on this when my son was a freshman, and the change in the high school start time did happen, but it didn’t happen in time for him. It did happen in time for my daughter. 

So that’s the reality that if you’re doing it in your community, it probably is going to take some time. And it should ideally take some time because you have to address all these issues to really have it happen successfully and to really have people understand why this is happening.

SHERYL:  Wow. Lisa, thank you so much for what you’re doing because this is having an impact and a ripple effect across our country. And it’s so needed, and so you have to really feel good about the work that you’re doing and the fruit that you’re seeing happen.

LISA:  Yeah, I do hope other states follow in California’s footsteps because I do think this is the way to have it happen on a larger scale. Our law was the culmination of literally decades of research by sleep scientists and various experts who were all incredibly supportive of what we were doing here in California

So it was a tremendous experience to be part of it, to have lit the spark for our law here in California, and to have been able to work with all of these other sleep advocates on this. So I do hope that, as I said that it does have a ripple effect in other states so that teens in other states can benefit as well.

SHERYL:  Yeah, so important for our kid’s mental, emotional and physical health and development.

LISA:  Absolutely, yeah. Sleep is essential for all of us. I guess the one other thing I would say is for teens, eight to 10 hours for us as adults, seven to nine hours, and the more we can do to make it a priority to help our teens and ourselves get enough sleep. Because when we’re well rested, and our teens are well rested, everything just goes more smoothly.

SHERYL:  It does. I can totally tell. I can’t remember names when I’m sleep-deprived. I can’t write. It’s like my brain just isn’t working. And so it’s amazing how big of a deal sleep is. 

Tell our listeners where to find your book, where to find you. You’ve written all over the place.

LISA:  The book is “The Sleep Deprived Teen, Why Our Teenagers Are So Tired, and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive.” My website is LisaLLewis.com. And they’re also welcome to reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram. It’s @LewisLisaL. And I’m always happy to answer questions, DMs, etc.

SHERYL:  Wonderful, and I’ll put those links in the notes so everybody can access them easily. 

LISA:  Thank you so much. It’s so lovely to talk to you.

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