Let's Argue! Science Style!
*Yawn* Man, I’m tired! Scientists have been studying sleep behaviors for a long time. One focus is naturally on kids and teenagers. I remember when I was in high school, sleep was "optional". I had homework, after school activities and maybe on the weekends my social agenda to be concerned about. Sleep was often sacrifced. I was looking on NPR’s Science section of their website and stumbled across articles talking about that elusive practice of sleep. The best part about these two articls is they are arguing with each other!
Too many times people see science as a lot of facts and mathmatics that we have to remember. Many times we forget that real science is a dialog or conversation of arguments between different view points. It's these arguments that really lead to the interesting discoveries!
The original argument is that a study was first published about how no one really knows how much sleep a teenager needs. The author argues that there was no empirical evidence to show how much sleep is needed by teenagers or young adults. Therefore the only logical conclusion is that we just don't know!
The response is very different. The second article argues that there is evidence that supports teenagers getting 9 hours of sleep. The author admits that the evidence is not perfect, because it is based on parents estimating how long their child was in bed. Since it is an estimation it won't be exact. Another problem is the parents don't know how much sleep their kid is actually getting because one could easily lay in bed and not sleep. Nevertheless the author claims that the evidence is still there.
I encourage you to read both of these articles about sleep and see what you think. Besides learning about the old zzZZzzZZ, who can pass up a good argument?