Sleepless Nights

It’s 6 a.m. on a school day, but Michael, a sophomore at a local high school, is deaf to his mother’s repeated wake-up calls. At 6:20 a.m., he rolls out of bed and, still groggy, races to catch the 6:30 a.m. school bus. “Between homework and instant messaging his friends, he stays up really late at night,” his mother says. “I tell him to go to sleep, but I can see he truly isn’t tired.” Michael will sleep on the bus and probably doze off during his early morning classes. By 2 p.m. when school lets out, he will just be hitting his stride.

Then there is Susan, a forty-something corporate lawyer and mother of two daughters, ages four and six, gets up at 4 a.m. for her daily three-mile run. She will shower, dress, pack lunch for her kids and pick up the nanny before making the 6 a.m. train to arrive at her Manhattan office an hour before everybody else. She reads the newspaper on the train, usually falling asleep about ten minutes from Grand Central. At work, the pressure is relentless; she’s lucky to leave in time to catch the 10:07 p.m. back to Fairfield County.

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