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Student Sleep Health Week 2021: Raman Malhotra, MD

The associate professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis discussed the latest initiative from the AASM, emphasizing sleep health for school-aged children.

“Studies from the CDC show that 78% of high school students are not getting enough sleep. If we look at even younger children, up to one-third of them are not getting enough sleep. How this impacts them—obviously, they're learning at school trying to pay attention, cognitive processes can be slowed, but even things like mood, motivation, ability to emotionally handle things, and things like sports and playing instruments and how well they perform can all be affected by not getting enough sleep.”

The second annual Student Sleep Health Week has been organized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in an effort to promote better sleep health for children. Shifting from the virtual schooling environment developed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, students, teachers, school officials, and parents will all be making adjustments with the onset of the new school year and the return to the routine of in-person learning. 

Raman Malhotra, MD, president, AASM; and associate professor of neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, spoke with NeurologyLive about the initiative, which is taking place this week, from September 12-18, 2021. Malhotra commented on the importance of sleep, which is integral for overall health in everyone, but particularly for children, whose developing brains require more sleep than their adult counterparts.