Better Sleep for Better Learning
Have you noticed you feel stressed or cranky when you don’t get enough sleep? That’s because sleep allows our brain and bodies to repair itself and grow. Without enough sleep, we have a more difficult time concentrating and an easier time feeling stressed out. Our children experience this same phenomenon and it can impact their ability to perform at school.
More and more research supports that sleep can have a direct impact on our brain’s ability to recall information. The amount and quality of sleep we receive can impact memory and learning.
Are you aware of how many hours your child should be getting? Here are the recommendations according to The Better Sleep Council:
Infants: 16 hours
Preschoolers: 10-12 hours
Age six and older: 9-10 hours
If you’re having a hard time getting your little one to sleep, evaluate their sleeping environment. For quality sleep, consider the following when revising (or developing) your child’s sleep schedule:
1) An early bedtime that allows for them to get enough hours of sleep. If they tell you they’re not tired, don’t let them stay up. Once they become “overtired” their quality of sleep will suffer.
2) A consistent bedtime. Consistency allows them to recognize when it’s bedtime and expect to fall asleep. It will be much harder to get them to bed if they have an inconsistent sleeping schedule.
3) A break period from electronics, food and sugary sweets at least an hour before bed. Bright screens and sugar give children boosts of energy making it much harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
4) A nighttime routine that’s conducive to sleep, such as taking a bath, brushing teeth, quiet time, a bedtime story from you or reading a book themselves. Use traditional books over electronics.
5) A supportive mattress big enough for their body to move around in as they grow. A “big kid” bed may be necessary if they are still in a toddler bed. Children need supportive beds just as adults do.
Creating a restful environment consistently is key to great sleep for our children, so they can be refreshed and ready to learn each day.