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Published on August 29, 2016

Rest up for better learning

As the first day of school draws near and summer fun starts to fade, a renewed focus on routine and healthy habits come to the forefront. This year, Dean Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Michael Trias hopes a little early preparation, especially when it comes to sleep, will help you start the school year off on a healthy foot.

Studies continue to show that good sleep is important for learning.

“All kids need ample sleep. I think we often underestimate how much sleep kids need,” says Dr. Trias. “If a child is sleep deprived they are more likely to feel overwhelmed, scared and anxious at the start of the school year – in addition to not being able to learn efficiently.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine released new recommendations this summer when it comes to sleep.  Here’s the breakdown for your school-aged children:

  • Kids 3-5 years old – 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 6-12 years old – 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours
  • Teens 13-18 years old – 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours

“It’s easy to let bedtimes slide during the summer months, so to ease the transition back to a normal bedtime,” says Dr. Trias.  He recommends inching your routine back by 15-30 minutes each night over the course of seven to 10 days. By keeping a regular bedtime – even on weekends – your child will be less likely to slip into sleep deprivation.

Dr. Trias also recommends keeping electronics including video games, televisions, computers and cell phones out of the bedroom.

“Using electronics before bed leads to poor quality sleep as well as less sleep. A relaxing, age-appropriate bedtime routine can help your child wind down,” says Dr. Trias.  Your family bedtime routine should eliminate exposure to electronics at least within an hour before bed.  That way your child will wake up refreshed, and ready to learn at school.

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