(PHOENIX, AZ,) –With a new school year fast approaching, now is the time to start adjusting children’s sleep schedules. Kids who don’t get enough sleep can have trouble learning and paying attention.
You can help lay the groundwork for success by following these tips to ease them into school time sleep schedules and promote healthy habits year round.
Back to School Tips
- Begin setting an earlier bedtime and wake-up time at least two weeks before school starts. Adjust the time by 10-15 minutes every other day.
- Focus on early morning activities rather than late nights.
- Be consistent – sleep schedules should apply to weekends, too.
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual to help kids unwind. This may include a bath and reading.
- Turn off bright lights, computers, electronic toys and TV’s one hour before bedtime.
- Make sure the bedroom is dark, cool and quiet.
- Evaluate mattresses and pillows. Most manufacturers recommend replacing mattresses every 8-10 years.
- Avoid caffeine after lunch.
- Avoid big meals too close to bedtime.
- Be a good role model and make sleep a priority for everyone in your home.
While many people understand that young children need more sleep than adults, some don’t realize the same applies to teenagers. While the amount of sleep varies based on the individual, the National Sleep Foundation, along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, studied the issue and released the following recommendations earlier this year:
Preschoolers (3- 5 years old)
- Typically sleep 10-13 hours per night
- Not recommended: less than 8, more than 14.
- Most do not nap after the age of five.
School age (6-13 years old)
- Typically sleep 9-11 hours per night.
- Not recommended: less than 7, more than 12.
- Increased interest in TV, computers and caffeine consumption can lead to bedtime resistance and difficulty falling asleep.
Teenagers (14-17 years old)
- Typically sleep 8-10 hours
- Not recommended: less than 7, more than 11
- Most experience changes in sleep schedules
About Valley Sleep Center
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. www.valleysleepcenter.com