We all are guilty of staying up later in the summer– there’s more to do, and more daylight to enjoy. However, once kids are back in school, wake-up times become earlier for everyone, and it is really important to adjust bedtime to be sure everyone in the family is getting the sleep they need.
Kids need quite a bit more sleep than adults do. The average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep per night, while kids age 6-11 need about 10-11 hours of sleep. Kids and teens age 12-18 need about nine hours of sleep. School performance can be directly affected by sleep deprivation. Some kids will fidget more in order to stay awake during class, causing disruptions for others. Sleep-deprived kids don’t retain as much of the information during class and generally are unable to live up to their academic potential.
Take some simple steps to be sure your kids are getting adequate sleep as they head back to the classroom.
- Adjust early– A couple of weeks before school starts, begin setting bedtime earlier to get everyone adjusted to the new routine.
- Enforce a bedtime– Speaking of bedtime, set an appropriate bedtime based on the age of the child, and the amount of sleep they need (and amount of time they need to get ready in the morning!)–then stick to it!
- Cut off access to electronics– Even if kids are in their bedroom, they may be staying up much later than you realize texting, watching tv, or surfing the internet. Keep electronics in the main area of the house, rather than in the bedroom where they can be used late into the night.
- Cut the caffeine.– Make sure kids are not consuming late night sodas or chocolate, causing them to be wired at bedtime.
- Parents stick to the schedule too! — Practice what you preach and begin to adjust your schedule too. Kids will follow suit if everyone in the household is getting into back-t0-school mode.
If your child gets their teeth cleaned in August, you are entered for a giveaway of a $100 giftcard to a local store for back to school shopping! Call 410-876-2096 to make your appointment!