This simple tool will boost your child’s IQ…
Help them manage their emotions better…
Help them master new skills, whether on the piano or on the sports field…
AND keep them at a healthy weight.
Even better, it requires nothing from you at all.
It’s free, available to everyone, and will change your child’s life forever.
The Ultimate IQ Booster
Back in the 1920s, Dr. Lewis Terman studied gifted children.
Dr. Terman knew a thing or two about intelligence. He’d helped develop the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales, an IQ test still in use today.
He wanted to know whether gifted children fit any specific pattern. Did they have more childhood illnesses than less gifted children? Were they worse at making friends? Did they tend to have narrow interests?
The answer was no to all of those questions. Gifted children were healthy, sociable, and well-rounded.
But what he DID find was that sleep makes you smarter.
Gifted children, regardless of age, tended to sleep longer.
In particular, the sleep these children most benefited from was early morning sleep—exactly the kind of sleep most children miss out on due to waking up early for school.
Fast forward nearly 100 years, and research has confirmed Dr. Terman’s insight.
One longitudinal study on 5000 Japanese schoolchildren found that the children who slept longer had a higher IQ. All it took to get this brain-boosting benefit? Just 40 to 50 minutes of extra sleep.
Twin studies have found that the relationship between sleep and smarts begins at young age. Twins who sleep longer than their sibling have better scores on reading and comprehension, as well as a better vocabulary, by the age of 10.
For sleep expert Dr. Matthew Walker, the data are conclusive. Early school start times are shortchanging our children’s education. If we want smarter, healthier, happier kids, we need to let them sleep in.
Sleep and Teens
Teens need to sleep in, too.
When a Wyoming school district shifted school start time from 7:35am to 8:55am, they didn’t anticipate what would happen. Teen traffic accidents—which are the leading cause of death among teens—dropped by 70%. Kids weren’t driving to school drowsy, and it was saving their lives.
Teenagers need that early morning sleep more than any other age group.
Around puberty, a teen’s circadian rhythm shifts forward by up to 3 hours. Making a teen go to bed at 9pm when their body starts to get sleepy at midnight would be like asking you to go to bed at 7pm if you were used to a 10pm bedtime.
Unfortunately, school start times are inflexible. A teen who goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at 6am for school is not only chronically sleep-deprived, but also missing out on sleep that would consolidate learning and manage emotions.
Sleep Makes Teens Easier to Live With
The bulk of REM sleep—the stage of sleep in which we dream—occurs in the wee hours of the morning.
Dreaming is far more than nighttime entertainment. It’s an incredibly active brain state in which the brain is integrating new information and recalibrating our emotional responses.
Deprive someone of sleep, and they’re more likely to perceive hostility in neutral faces. Dreaming helps recalibrate the part of our brain responsible for reading facial expressions. When we’re well-rested, we can tell what someone is feeling with a glance. When we’re not well-rested, the world can seem like it’s against us.
Lack of sleep can cause outbursts of temper even in otherwise rational adults. We’re 60% more emotionally reactive when we’re sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, risk-taking, depression, and even increased risk of suicide.
Skipping on Sleep to Cram or Practice? Think Again
Many students think nothing of staying up all night to cram for a test. But does that strategy work?
The sleep-deprived brain is 40% less effective in recalling new facts than a well-rested brain. Not only does sleep commit new facts to memory, but it also frees up short-term memory so that you can learn new material.
Athletes and musicians need sleep just as much as students. The act of sleeping consolidates motor skills. You can practice all you want, but unless you get a good night’s sleep, mastery will be elusive.
Which is why cutting your sleep short to fit in an early-morning practice is a bad idea, argues Dr. Walker. The last 2 hours of sleep before you wake are the most important for mastering motor skills.
College students won’t want to know that skipping sleep isn’t the only thing harming their learning. Drinking is, too.
A study pitted three groups of students against each other. All three groups learned new information to the same degree of accuracy, then were tested 7 days later to see how much they’d retained.
One group was given a few drinks to enjoy the night after they’d learned the material. Another group was given a few drinks to enjoy several nights after they’d learned the material. The control group remained sober.
Students who drank the night after learning new material ended up forgetting 50% of what they learned, while students who drank a few nights later forgot 40% of what they learned. The only group that retained the information was the sober group.
So if you want to learn something new, get 8 hours of sleep and skip the nightcap.
For more shocking facts on sleep, I highly recommend Dr. Walker’s riveting manifesto Why We Sleep. You’ll never see sleep the same way again!