Re: “Education Matters/Opinion: Yet another study on the benefits of later school start times” by Marsha Sutton, Sept. 11.
Dear Marsha Sutton:
Your perseverance on the subject of implementing later school start times is inspirational because it brings awareness to the importance of sleep in the teenage population of our community, and you provided solutions that can be adopted in our school districts.
Sleep quality is an important health concern because its restorative power provides physiological and psychological benefits to the overall health status of an individual as supported by the scientific research you cited in your education opinion piece. One avenue to address this health concern, while the political propositions become a reality, is to get school nurses in our community involved in this issue. Nurses can provide health education campaigns that target sleep hygiene and empower the adolescents of our community with knowledge that is conducive to making changes in their sleeping environment and lifestyle to improve their quality and amount of sleep. Sleep is an important health matter and combining advocacy for flexible school start times with education that motivates teenagers to have healthy sleep patterns can be a way to prevent daytime sleepiness that could compromise their safety, behavior and academic performance.
University of San Diego Nursing Student and Carmel Valley Resident