According to ChildrensMD.org, “Sleep helps kids do well in school, improves social functioning, prevents illness and injuries, and even prevents obesity. But American children don’t sleep enough.”
What exactly is “enough” sleep for kids? The National Sleep Foundation guidelines suggest that requirements vary significantly by age:
- Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night
- Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep
- Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours
If you’ve been lax about bedtime over the long, lazy summer, now is the time to get kids back on track… and back to sleep. Dr. Sara Lappe explains in a U.S. News & World Report article, “The start of school is a critical time to get kids adjusted to a consistent sleep schedule. Most children become used to staying up a little later and sleeping in more frequently during the summer, but as school approaches it’s important to move bedtime up and get back into a routine.”
Adequate sleep is absolutely essential for learning. But, parents may not recognize the signs of sleep deprivation. “One of the reasons it’s so hard to know when our kids are getting insufficient sleep is that drowsy children don’t necessarily slow down the way we do—they wind up. In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children often act as if they’re not tired, resisting bedtime and becoming hyper as the evening goes on. All this can happen because the child is overtired,” say the experts at the National Sleep Foundation.
With the start of school just around the corner, here are five easy-to-implement back to sleep tips:
- Adjust the schedule gradually (start two weeks before the 1st day of school)
- Cut down on electronics (particularly before bedtime)
- Trick the brain with light (add room darkening curtains or shades)
- Limit sugar and caffeine intake
- Implement a wind down routine each evening
Follow these guidelines and soon your child will be… sleeping like a baby!
About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc.
Back to Basics Learning Dynamics offers over 125 unique educational services, the widest array of educational options in the tri-state area including: 1-on-1 tutoring in over 60 subjects, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior specialists, reading specialists, ELL teachers, homebound services, and psycho-educational testing. In addition, Back to Basics offers exceptional, 1-on-1 test prep for tests including the SAT, PSAT, SAT II, ACT, GRE, PRAXIS, GED, and HSEE. Back to Basics also offers summer school, original credit, and credit recovery, plus unique enrichment options and professional development. And, Back to Basics operates Delaware’s only Department of Education-approved, 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware.