November 9


Biological Needs

When I hear that middle-school students are only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night, I weep inside. 

Not only because of the consequences. But also because the students have accepted it as normal.

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is a book everyone should read. Considered the best book on the science of sleep, it will make you rethink everything you knew about sleep's health benefits.

And the consequences of getting too little sleep.

But even Walker admits that today's early school and work times make it harder than ever to get a full night's sleep. Eight hours for adults. And up to ten (that's right...ten) hours of sleep for kids through high school.

Add sports and a mountain of homework, and what hope do kids have?

We've come to see sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. But in reality, it's a recipe for mental and physical health problems.

And unfortunately, doctors are more inclined to prescribe medication for anxiety than to recommend that kids get more sleep at night.

School provides a lot of great things. But where it falls short is helping students with their biological and life-skill needs. That's where we need to support them outside of the school day.

Sure, I enjoyed chemistry, African history, trigonometry, and English literature.

But, I really could have used some education in:

  1. How to get a proper night's sleep, and the risks of short-changing that.
  2. How to cook, and establish proper nutrition for a long, healthy life.
  3. How to maintain a long-term exercise routine.
  4. How to maintain a home.
  5. How taxes work. (and money in general)

One could argue that having just these five pieces in place amount to a more successful life than the most diehard, sleep-deprived workaholism.

It's hard in today's society.

But, I do believe that those who learn about and practice their biological needs will come to discover modern-day superpowers.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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