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Parenting Tips and Student Well-Being: Sleep

Sleep and School-aged Children (5-12 years)

Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep. At the same time, there is an increasing demand on their time from school (e.g., homework), sports and other extracurricular and social activities. In addition, school aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products – all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. In particular, watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.

Sleep problems and disorders are prevalent at this age. 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.

Sleep Tips for School-aged Children:

· Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits.
· Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
· Make child's bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet. Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
· Avoid caffeine.

Excerpt from http://www.sleepforkids.org/

Sleep for Teens (13 to 19 years old) and older too...

Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly, particularly if you are behind the wheel. You can look bad, you may feel moody, and you perform poorly. Sleepiness can make it hard to get along with your family and friends and hurt your scores on school exams, on the court or on the field. Teenagers need 9-10 hours of sleep each night. Remember: A brain that is hungry for sleep will get it, even when you don’t expect it. For example, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel cause more than 100,000 car crashes every year. When you do not get enough sleep, you are more likely to have an accident, injury and/or illness.

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