It is that time of year where we, as parents, either rejoice or become a bit melancholy: back-to-school. You've thought about the backpacks, the paper, the pens… but have you thought about the change in sleep schedule and how it might affect your child?
The Better Sleep Council conducted a study which found "alarming results" when it comes to how parents view the importance of sleep in their 7- 18 year old children.
Only 45% of parents here in the United States attribute loss of sleep to poor school performance and mood changes.* We, as a nation, need to start associating the importance of sleep at the same level with diet and exercise when considering our overall state of well-being. Ensuring our kids get a good night's sleep is just as important as making sure they're not watching too much television, not eating too much junk food, and getting enough daily physical activity.
image from ebed.com
The Better Sleep Council has these tips to help get your kids in bed and asleep at a reasonable time in order to succeed better in school and stay healthy:
Remove electronics from the bedroom or establish an electronics curfew an hour before bedtime.
Make sure the bedroom is cool and quiet. Try and get the child into a routine.
Encourage 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Talk with your child about the day and ask about fears and concerns, as your child may not divulge this information offhandedly. Be sure to reassure him or her of any concerns.
Check the quality of your child’s mattress. If it is seven years old or greater, replacing it may be vital to improving the sleep environment. (The Clean Bedroom offers a great range of organic mattresses.)
"Children of all ages today, especially teens, are constantly ‘plugged in,’ and have hectic schedules," noted BSC Director of Communications Karin Mahoney. "But they need to understand that unplugging themselves from gadgets and having quiet time is really important for getting a quality night’s rest."
You can find the most up to date information from The Better Sleep Council by finding and following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.