Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12
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Mr. O in his 2nd floor office on a dress-down day

In the Middle of It All

Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School

Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.

 

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Left to Their Own Devices, Kids Lose Sleep

The other night I couldn’t sleep. Despite having hit the sack around 9:30 and closing my book by 10, my monkey mind was still racing at 11:30. But yet! The theft of sleep was somewhat mitigated by the gift of insight that came as I lay awake. 

Although I never touched my phone, which sat inches away on my nightstand (a necessity for an appropriately vigilant dad with no landline or alarm clock), several times I caught my mind telling me to reach for the device. It was a natural impulse as I was thinking about emails I needed to send and items I needed to add to my To-Do List. 

The insight? The mere presence of the device, despite no actual use, was enough to interfere with my ability to sleep. Of course, a sole personal anecdote does not make for a proven theory. But there is compelling reason to believe (for example in this meta-analysis) that device access may be all it takes to mess with precious rest. 

With that, I present some important data from our Annual Homework Survey:* 

Device in Room by GradeAvg. Hours of SleepAnd now a straightforward request: help your child keep all internet-connected devices out of the bedroom overnight.

Last year 54% of all Middle School students reported having a connected device in the bedroom overnight. This year 50% of our students reported the same. That’s progress. Let’s get that number to zero. 

And how did the rest of my night’s sleep go? Dying smoke detector batteries and the resulting impossible-to-locate chirping at 3 a.m. stole my last hope of further repose.

Sometimes the technology that’s meant to be our savior can sure feel like it’s the opposite.

Looking for more helpful resources? Check herehere, and here.

*Stay tuned for more data in the month ahead.

 

Posted by Trevor O'Driscoll in Wellness on Sunday February 5 at 07:04AM
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