Back to school is almost upon us! Or as I like to say, Christmas comes early for parents! Just kidding! The fun of summertime walks, ice cream sundaes, and camp outs are giving way to the fall of turning leaves and Halloween costumes.
Most importantly, though, this time of year is back to school for our youngsters. Getting back on a regular schedule is what will help your students perform at their best this coming school year! Now that summer is coming to an end, establishing a bedtime routine is key to academic success.
As adults we all know that we should be getting between 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but did you know that your students need even more? School-aged children between 5 to 10-years-old need 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best.
Sleep is so important for a student’s success in school because this is the time when their brain is “cleaning” itself. During sleep, our body uses the time to remove all the waste and allows us to repeat the learning processes day after day. In fact, sleep is as important as physical exercise and eating healthy. Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to fall asleep during class or while doing homework–all of which may lead to a lower Grade Point Average (GPA).
Here are some tips from the experts on how to make sure your student is getting enough sleep.
- Keep a routine: Stay consistent with bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends. This will help children adjust to the new schedule easier.
- Create a comfortable sleep atmosphere: Use a bedtime blanket, nightlight, and other items of comfort for younger children. Adolescents may choose to relax with a good book or listen to music as they fall asleep. Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom.
- Limit caffeine and other sugary sweets before bedtime: Instead of sugary snacks, stick with more nutritional options, like fruits and vegetables to balance energy throughout the day.
- Tools of Sleep: Does your student have the correct sleeping surface? Is their mattress giving them support and comfort? Are they sleeping on an old twin mattress that belonged to their older sibling? Sometimes a simple investment in the mattress, pillow, and bedding will make all the difference.
Studies prove that sleep matters.
For example, in a study of roughly 1,000 children and preadolescents, researchers measured kids’ sleep and school performance. They found that poor sleepers (who had difficulty falling asleep and woke up at least once a night) were significantly more likely to have school achievement difficulties. In fact, one of the best predictors of school failure in the study was children’s fatigue (being difficult to arouse in the morning and falling asleep during the day).
In another study of 3,000 high school students in New England, those who reported higher grades had significantly more sleep time and earlier bedtimes on school nights than those with lower grades. Students reporting B’s or better got 17-33 minutes more sleep on school nights and went to bed 10-50 minutes earlier than students with C’s and below. Students with lower grades also went to bed on average 2.3 hours later on the weekends than on school nights, compared to A/B students, who went to bed 1.8 hours later on the weekends. The same relationship has held true for college students as well.
So get to bed! As school approaches, make sure everyone in the house has a “sleep plan” for the school year. Let’s turn those ZZZZ’s into A’s!
If you are in the market for a new mattress for your child, American Home Furniture & Mattress is hosting a Team Up For Sleep event this Saturday, July 27 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meet two Albuquerque Isotopes players, win giveaways, and have fun all while getting great deals on back-to-school essentials, such as mattresses, beds, organizational units, and desks.