Barzdukas proposes sleep week

At the Oct. 17 Sports Council meeting, Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas proposed a “Sleep Week” to emphasize the importance of sleep. During the week, each member of the community would be encouraged to get an extra hour of sleep each night. Teachers and coaches might be asked to slightly reduce homework and practices, respectively.

The workload committee, which found that students are sleep-deprived, is considering the proposal, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said.

The Sports Council aims to make getting more sleep a bigger priority.

Barzdukas said that statistics and studies show that “our nation at large and our school in particular” are sleep-deprived.

“One-third of our lives is spent in that state,” Barzdukas said. “We should honor it.”
The council agreed that the Athletic Department should stress the importance of sleep in the same way that it has stressed health issues like dehydration, telling athletes to always pee clear.

“We are generating our commandments of sleep,” Barzdukas said.

Barzdukas also said that the study hall instituted for athletes this year was partly aimed at freeing up time for students to get more sleep, noting that if athletes got 90 minutes of homework done before practice, that was 90 minutes of free time later in the evening.
History teacher Dr. David Waterhouse, who is on the Sports Council, said that he thinks Sleep Week will raise awareness, but that it won’t actually solve anything.

“I don’t think it’s going to solve the major problem, which is kids who want to get more sleep but don’t have time,” he said. “It’s only a very partial solution. There needs to be much more done.”

Waterhouse said he felt that cutting back on the amount of time students spend on extracurricular activities would be a better solution to the sleep-deprivation problem.