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Around Cornerstone: News

Wake Up to the Importance of Healthy Sleep

Cornerstone Head of School, Marsha Robbins, spoke to our Cornerstone families on Monday and Tuesday at the annual State of the School address. We also had the privilege of hearing from multiple school board members as we look forward with expectation to the 2021-22 school year.  

The meeting concluded with a very informative talk on the importance of healthy sleep from Dr. Theresa Anderson. Dr. Anderson teaches our Anatomy and Physiology classes to Cornerstone high school seniors.

“It may not be an easy task, but parents still have the power to encourage good sleep habits.”

Startling Sleep Statistics

Very few students are practicing a good sleep routine. Studies show that only about 8 percent of American teenagers get the sleep they need, according to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The remainder live with chronic sleep problems. Some of these are milder than others, but more than half (59%) have severe sleep deprivation, meaning they sleep on average six hours or less most school nights. Sleep-deprived children display less brain activity while working on math problems and make more errors on tests.  In one study, students were given a reading assignment followed by comprehension questions and the sleep-deprived group took 50 minutes longer to complete the task.    

The Importance of Healthy Sleep for your Brain

  • Washes out toxins and metabolic “trash”

  • Files new information and memories

  • Rejuvenates, repairs, and renews 

Why My Student Isn't Sleeping

  • Electronics/social media/phone 56%

  • Interupted sleep schedule due to homework/activities 43%

  • Worrying about school 31%

  • Worrying about social life 23%

  • Health problems/medical 10%

Source: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health 2018

How is Sleep Deprevation Affecting My Student?

  • Lower GPA

  • Decreased academic performance 

  • Lower motivation/confidence

  • Teenagers need more sleep than they did in their pre-adolescent years. They also need to understand that sleep deprivation puts them at a higher risk of a variety of problems, from automobile accidents to depression.

Sleepy Students Often Exhibit

  • Riskier behaviors

  • Impulse control

  • ADHD

  • Anxiety (2018 30% higher in the sleepy group)

  • Less control over emotions: irritable, cranky, angry

So, How Many Hours of Sleep Should We Be Getting?

General Guidelines:

  • Children - 10 hours

  • Adolescents - 9 hours

  • Adults - 8 hours

Click here for a sleep cycle calculator to estimate the best time for you and your student to wake up and go to bed.

What Can I Do To Encourage Healthy Sleep Habits?

  • Turn off all devices 1 hour before bed

  • White noise machine

  • Cool, dark room 

  • Don’t eat late

  • Regular schedule and bedtime routine

  • Avoid sugar and coffee later in the day

  • Get outside for fresh air, sunlight, and activity 

Your help as parents will allow them to take measures to get the sleep they need for better learning and a better life.

“ Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

More Information About Dr. Anderson

Dr. Theresa Anderson received her undergraduate degree in education from the University of Missouri in St. Louis followed by her doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in 2000. When she's not teaching, Dr. Anderson is practicing alongside her husband in their Acworth and Dallas locations. Her son, Jeremiah, graduated from Cornerstone in 2020 and her daughter, Hope, is currently a Cornerstone junior. 

Dr. Anderson remains a student herself while currently pursuing an advanced degree for a diplomate in Diagnosis and Internal Disorders (DABCI) as a chiropractic internist. 

Dr. Anderson combines her passions for healthy living and teaching so students not only learn how our bodies function, but also gain awe and respect for God's design. 


Institute for Functional Medicine: https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/sleep-dysfunction-importance-relaxation/ 

American Physiological Society: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00032.2012 

Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/deep-sleep-gives-your-brain-a-deep-clean1/

Helpful Links

9 Steps to Perfect Health- Get More Sleep-https://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-8-sleep-more-deeply/

Sleep- Your most powerful immune ally- https://drknews.com/sleep-your-most-powerful-immune-ally/ 

National Sleep Foundation- https://www.thensf.org/

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