“The Lost Hour”

Jacob A. Monlux R.P.T., Physical Therapy, Sport, and Human Performance Retired


The Lost Hour article explains how lack of rest affects obesity, academic achievements, and physical fitness performance, social and emotional responses of children.

It is critical to review how the roll of rest-sleep and emotional tensions affect daily performance of children in order to understand what constitutes physical fitness within the definition of total health and physical education for this kidsfailedfitness.org web site and Kids Failed Fitness Facebook.

The health/fitness monster has three heads (or triad). They are: Motion Disease-chronic inactivity, Sugar Addiction- eating disorder-obesity, and an Unhealthy Brain – influences by inherited genes, lack of full development from physical inactivity, unbalance diet, responses to toxic environmental chemicals, and poor mental responses to tension, sleep deprivation, impacted by bi-polar, depression, mental illness and negative daily living experiences.

The motion disease is the most critical of the three and provides immunity response to all diseases including cancer, heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer disease. Fitness activity develops all brain structures including the hippocampus centers and learning responses. Eating disorders is the supply side of metabolism and fitness is the delivery side of metabolism. The brain health is affected by life style choices involving: controling fat metabolism; flooding the body with oxygen, nutrients, and other life giving substances; recovery of the system’s from fatigue and high level of neuromuscular and cerebral synaptic responses.

A sluggish brain and fatigued body for school activities and daily activity dramatically impacts the success of academic achievement and physical performance of both growing children and adults.

The Lost Hour

This article titled the “Lost Hour” is to address the failed policy of any school district to start school one hour early to save the school district money busing children and allowing more time to spend on specific subjects. The title was taken from a book written by PO Bronson and Ashley Merryman call “Nurture Shock” from chapter of that name (p 29-44). This should be required reading for every school board member, school administrators, teachers, attorneys and parents before they make decisions about Early Busing that will influence our children for the rest of their lives.

  • IQ/ Sleep Deprivation- Dr. Paul Surratt at the University of Virginia sleep center found that “Sleep disorders can impair children’s IQ as much as lead exposure”. There is a direct relationship between sleep and grades; a sleepy sixth-grader will perform in the class like a fourth grader. “The loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive maturational development “; according to Dr. Avid Sadeh at Tel Aviv collage collaborating with Sleep scholars at Brown University.

  • SAT scores/ Sleep Deprivation-Edina, Minnesota, an affluent school in suburb of Minneapolis, changed its high school start time from 7:25 to 8:30. Getting one hour of sleep boosted SAT scores up to 56 points and their verbal SAT a whopping 156 points. This was noted by Brian O’ Reilly, the College Board’s Executive Director for the SAT Program. “In short he stated that an hour more of sleep improved students’ quality of life.”

  • REM Sleep Zone/ Sleep Deprivation -“Kids sleep is qualitatively different than grownups. They spend 40 % in the slow-wave state “which is ten times the proportion that older adult spend”, according to UC Berkeley’s Dr. Matthew Walker. The vocabulary, motor skills, auditory memories are encoded across all stages and get processed during REM sleep. “The more you learned during the day, the more you need to sleep that night.”

    Dr. Mark Mahowald, Director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center states, “If schools are for education, then we should promote learning instead of interfering with it.”

  • Memory Processed/ Sleep Deprivation- “Negative stimuli are processed by the amygdala. Positive memories get processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation affect the hippocampus more than the amygdala. Sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet gloomy memories are just fine” says Walker. He Mentions that when the intensity of learning is greater than the sleep acquired, the whole process of learning is less. “The trends if continued are like a rubber band that will snap.”

    Scholars have noted that the hallmark traits of adolescent moodiness, impulsiveness, disengagement are systoms of both sleep deprivation and failed physical fitness.

  • Physical Fitness Failures / Sleep deprivation -Dr. Stephen Blair of the Cooper Institute for Longevity stated at the 17 Th Conference of psychologist that,” Chronic Inactivity is the Health Threat of the 21st Century.”

    There is a point where physical fitness declines courts pain and all systems start to fail. Increase the level of physical fitness pain decreases and the systems return to normal functioning. (Prudden-“Pain Erasure”). Over 70 % of a million school children in California failed to score in a healthy physically fit zone 1998 according to state schools Chief Jack O’Connell. The fit 10 year old children had a larger hippocampal volume-about 12% bigger relative to total brain size than their out of shape peers-Beckman Institute Art Cramer –University of Illinois psychology professor. Brain cells develop along with the muscle and other cells during heightened physical activity. The results are learning is dramatically increased. This translates in to l000 time’s greater capability neuron exchange (Daniel G. Amen, M.D. “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age”). Children’s sleep deprivation problems are compounded when the child has failed fitness is obese and is chronically inactive.

  • Role of Sleep Deprivation/ Obesity- Dr. Eve Van Cauter discovered “neuroendocrine cascade” that links sleep to obesity. Dr. Richard Atkinson, co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Obesity states,” we have done diet and exercise studies for hundreds of years. It’s time to look at different causes”

    “Children who sleep less are fatter than children who sleep more. A kindergarten child who gets less than ten hours sleep is 300 % more likely to have a higher obesity. In middle and high scholars studied the odds of obesity went up 80% or each hour of lost sleep”. The less sleep a child gets the less active they are. The net calorie burn, after a full night’s rest, is higher. Chronic sleep deprivation may be a major player in the diabetes 11 disease process.

    The hormone lepin is the metabolic opposite of ghrelin which signals hunger. Cortisol is lipogenic and becomes elevated by stress and lack of sleep. The results is cortisol and ghrelin team up to store body fat during sleep overpowering lepin (which suppress appetite), even if the child has not taken in added calories. What is alarming is that the process continues not only during the REM sleep of the child hours afterwards possibly negating some of the positive effect of daily exercise. We usually think of calories in and calories burned-Not so with stress and sleep deprivation. The effect of sleep deprivation and tension in a child’s life has to be a startling discovery and may be one of the reasons for increased diabetes in children besides (sugar addiction, and motion disease).

    Obesity forms faster in children than adults and is more difficult to cure. The study was published April 30, 2012 by the New England Journal of Medicine and was led Study Dr. David Nathan, director of diabetes center of Massachusetts General Hospital. “It’s got a hold on them and it’s hard to turn around.” Before 1990 this form of diabetes was hardly ever seen in children. There were about 3,600 new cases a year from 2002 to 2005 (The data is not complete for year 2012). “These are people who are struggling with something that shouldn’t happen in kids who are this young”. Over 65 % of adults are obese or overweight and over 30 % of children are overweight and obese. In a few years one out of seven people will be 100 lbs. overweight. One out of two already has symptoms of-“sugar addiction”.

The following is an attitude that some school districts have toward Early Busing. “Sleep is treated like the national debt-what’s another hour on the bill? We’re surviving: kids can too”- Dr. Judith Owens sleep clinic in Providence.

The Center for Disease Control has indicated that the data is too powerful to ignore. They now recommend that later school starts have a dramatically positive impact on the life of the child and parents.

Summary: The social, emotional, academic, physical fitness development and obesity trends are all dramatically affected negatively by Early Start Bussing. If schools are for education, then we should promote learning and the health fitness of our children, not interfere with it.



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