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Help your child be better at school through better sleep

12.12.2018

Notebooks and textbooks. Colored pencils. Markers. Check!

New shoes. Warm winter jacket. Modern backpack. Check!

New tablet and other school widgets. Check!

And let us check the most important - your child is in his bed before 21:00, he sleeps 10 hours uninterrupted, and wakes up well rested to catch the bus on time in the morning?

Probably not.

 The preparation of school-age children involves much more than just getting all the necessary supplies and buying clothes that fit properly. (Wow, kids grow so fast!) Getting quality sleep during the school year is one of the most important things children need in order to study well and have excellent results. Establishing healthy habits for your child is something you will probably need to try to achieve. But it's never too early or too late to start. With a few basic tips, we'll help you deal with this important point on the school list.

Ten hours of sleep? Really?

It is recommended that children aged 6-12 years regularly receive between 9 and 12 hours of sleep within a 24-hour period for their optimal health. Smaller children require even more hours of sleep, while teenagers need a little less (8-10 hours).

According to recent sleep studies, children in this age group get less sleep than it is recommended, which may not surprise you, given your personal experience. 

There is no minimum age for sleep disorders

Little children may experience the same sleep problems as adults, experts say. These may include insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, sleepwalking, and nightmares. Each one of these disorders can lead to poor sleep quality or even sleep deprivation, and it is important to discuss it with a specialist.

In fact, according to one recent study, 37% of children who go to kindergarten through fourth grade have significant sleep problems at least in one respect.

Entering the teen years, biological changes complicate sleep. Melatonin production begins later in the evening, slowing down the natural desire to sleep up to two hours. Late sleep puts students at odds with early schooling, which leads to a lack of sleep, and this can have a negative impact on teenagers' health, well-being and performance in the school process.

Sleep directly affects the learning process

There is a close relationship between sleep and cognitive ability. Lack of sleep impedes the child's ability to learn – children that are sleep deprived experience difficulty in focusing, remembering facts, and making decisions, and these factors are critical in school.

Children who need sleep also have problems controlling their emotions. They often become irritable and demonstrate hyperactivity. These outbursts may have a negative impact on the learning environment for the children and their classmates.

Bad sleep also has a negative impact on the immune system, making children more susceptible to illness. Even if your child gets good grades, absence from school can mean flaws in basic knowledge and development opportunities.

Make good sleep part of your daily rhythm

Young people need their parents to set up rules and bedtime routine. It is up to you to be clear and consistent. It may require a great deal of patience on your part, but the children eventually feel good when there is some structure. Your child will adapt night by night and will get used to bedtime. The sleeping ritual can be relatively short, lasting 20-40 minutes, and it serves as a signal to the child that it is bedtime.Consider the following tips when trying to establish a sleeping regimen for your child:

Find the perfect bedtime. Every child is different, but most have a regular rhythm of their biological clocks. Watch at what time of day your child usually starts to slow down and to show physical fatigue. Put him in bed before it is too late.

Make bedtime special. Read a fairy tale, give him a bath, or just spend some time in peace with your child. Let it be relaxed and calm, but be firm when it's time to turn off the lights - there is no room for negotiation.

Let him choose. Letting your child just make some of the choices associated with bedtime will make him feel significant, and that's really his personal regimen. Let him choose the pajamas, the book, or the toy to sleep within the bed.

Keep electronic devices away from the child. Forbid TV and other electronic devices in the bedroom. Decreasing the time spent in front of the screen may help the child to feel sleepy earlier.

Limit the child's daily activities. Too many extracurricular activities can make children feel exhausted and stressed. Ensure that activities you plan for children provide enough time for sleep and maintain good communication with teachers and coaches to avoid overloading.

Evaluate the kid’s bed. Children need a comfortable place to rest if they want to sleep well. If your child has a mattress older than 7 years, you may have to change it. The need for support of the mattress increases with size and age. Think of a double bed before the child has grown tall.

Do not do it as a punishment. The goal is to make your bedtime a positive experience. Never send your children at an early age to bed as punishment, even leave them to stay late as a reward.

Count to three.

How do you know that all the hard work and dedication to adhering to a healthy way of sleep work? Your child sleeps well when:

• falls asleep within 15-30 minutes after bedtime.

• wakes up easily when needed

• is concentrated throughout the day.

And we remind you that these three signs of a good night rest also apply to adults. Give a good example to your children by paying attention to the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Follow our blog to get helpful tips on sleeping and ideas to help you achieve a full rest.

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