As we begin the new school year, we are met with many challenges along the way. A new schedule, homework, sports and extracurricular activities, and social activities, must all be coordinated and effectively managed to insure that your child does the best they can.
When planing your child’s day, it is essential to consider the amount of sleep they need.
For Preschoolers (3-5 years) the National Sleep Foundation recommends between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per night. For School-aged Children (5-12 years) the Foundation recommends between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night. For many children, a weekday can begin as early as 6:30 am. Based on these recommendations, these (school-aged) children should be in bed no later than 8:30pm.
Every parent understands the difficulty and aggravation associated in dealing with a child who is overtired. But, the ramifications of poor sleep go far beyond this inconvenience. The National Sleep Foundation reports that “Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.” In order for you child develop and excel in all aspects of school, sleep must be a priority in their daily routine. Here are a few tips to help your child be at their best:
- Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the room where your child sleeps
- Your child should sleep in the same sleeping environment every night
- Make your child’s bedroom conducive to sleep (dark, cool and quiet)
- Keep the TV and computer out of your child’s bedroom
- Avoid giving your child food or beverages with caffeine