The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Nets Point Guard Joins Nonprofit to Teach Kids the Importance of Sleep

By Paul DeBenedetto | August 12, 2013 8:14am | Updated on August 13, 2013 2:58pm
 Tyshawn Taylor hung out with 10-to-14 year olds for an afternoon to teach them about sleep deprivation.
Tyshawn Taylor hung out with 10-to-14 year olds for an afternoon to teach them about sleep deprivation.
View Full Caption

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — You snooze, you lose.

That was the message given to about 150 kids at Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy on Friday from a national nonprofit organization and Brooklyn Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

The Foundation for Sleep Awareness and the Nets teamed up for a program called "Sleep Fuels Everything," which aims to teach kids ages 10 to 14 the effects of sleep deprivation on the body.

"You're injuring your performance," said Liz Oliner, a program developer at the foundation. "Your body will actually have to try harder to do the things you normally do."

Taylor joined Oliner and volunteers from the audience on stage to illustrate the effects of sleep deprivation through a series of games. In one elaborate game, Taylor was asked to catch a ping-pong ball while carrying a chair and a backpack full of tennis balls and standing on one foot, to simulate the disorientation of a sleep-deprived child.

About 80 percent of high school students are chronically sleep deprived, and about 30 percent of kids fall asleep in class at least once a week, according to the Foundation for Sleep Awareness.

That's because despite their difference in ages, kids between 10 and 18 each need about nine-to-10 hours of sleep. But the typical 10-year-old gets eight hours, while the typical 18-year-old gets six-and-a-half, Oliner said.

Oliner recommended a proper bed time, naps and a comfortable bedroom to get better sleep, which she said would improve short term and long term memory, help improve class focus and improve sports activity.

"When you're sleep deprived, any workout you do will seem harder," Oliner said.

After the presentation, the kids got a little exercise by performing basketball drills and doing pushups in the school's gymnasium, followed by autogprah signings from Taylor and the Brooklyn Nets mascot, the BrooklyKnight.

"I enjoy getting involved with the community and helping children develop through the game of basketball," Taylor said. "Giving back to our Brooklyn community always makes for a fun day."