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Children Get more A’s with more Zzz’s

As students return to school, quality sleep is key to a student's success!

With the school year quickly approaching, many parents are bracing themselves for the early morning wake ups, hectic afternoons full of extracurriculars, and late nights studying. With so many tasks to accomplish in a day, sleep is usually sacrificed. What if we told you that children who get more sleep typically perform better in school than their classmates?

Quality sleep has many benefits for children which have been shown to improve classroom performance:
  1. Increased attention. Children can concentrate and focus more in class.

  2. Improved memory. Sleep helps children store memories and consolidate the information they learned that day which will make studying for their next test much easier.

  3. Faster processing. Sleep improves sharpness, reaction time, and students’ ability to absorb and analyze information.

  4. Improved creativity. Well-rested students are better able to make connections between diverse ideas.

Sleep Deprivation not only affects students’ grades, it can also have various negative effects on mood and behavior, including:
  1. Depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation is associated with a higher risk of depression and anxiety which can affect a student’s health and school performance.

  2. Hyperactivity. Lack of sleep may exacerbate symptoms of ADHD and may increase levels of hyperactive behavior.

  3. Poor decision making. Poor sleep hinders development of the parts of the brain responsible for making good decisions. This can increase the likelihood that risky choices are made, possibly leading to disciplinary problems in school.

  4. Aggression. Poor sleep has been linked with increased aggression in children.

  5. Irritability and mood. Poor quality sleep is correlated with increased irritability or upsetment.

  6. Excessive daytime sleepiness. Students may fall asleep during class, missing out on critical learning and disrupting the classroom.

How much sleep do children really need?
  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) require 10-13 hours of sleep

  • School-age children (ages 6-13) require 9-11 hours of sleep

  • Teenagers (ages 14-17) require 8-10 hours of sleep

  • College students (ages 18-22) require 7-9 hours of sleep

One of the best ways to help your children get adequate sleep is by establishing a consistent bedtime routine which may include:
  • Taking a warm bath/shower

  • Singing lullabies

  • Reading with a parent or individually

  • Journaling

  • Meditating

  • No electronic devices at least 1 hour before bedtime

  • No televisions in bedrooms

  • A regular bedtime/wakeup time

This school year, give your children these tools to help them get more sleep. Remind them that getting more sleep will help them earn better grades and perform better in their extracurriculars. Is your child struggling with ADD/ADHD or anxiety and depression? Contact GLIM to learn more about an integrative medicine approach to treatment.

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