Dear Lawrence Families,
How do you know how much sleep children should get? We seem to be having an increase in many students not getting enough sleep and exhibiting signs of being overtired, not able to focus and/or tired/sleepy.
There are many books on the topic that can help parents and children with healthy sleep.
Poorly rested, over tired children may:
- have difficulty falling and staying asleep.
- be cranky, bored, and difficult to manage
- be inflexible and unadaptable
- be hyperactive
- suffer from short attention spans
- have stomach or headaches, and possibly struggle in school.
Well rested children may
- be able to focus better
- be calm, happy and manageable
- do better in schools
Here are some tips:
- Even though everyone has heard that adults need 8 hours of sleep a night, adult sleep needs vary, some need 7 or less and some need 9 or more. Find what works for you.
- Children typically need much more sleep. We should work with our children to find what works best for them, however it should be 10-12 hours for most of our students.
- Staying up late without an established bedtime can disrupt healthy sleep patterns and actually make it worse (students are more tired).
- Students not getting enough sleep are less focused in class and struggle more with their learning.
- Setting consistent bedtime and wake up routines is very beneficial. Bedtime for your younger children should be about 8:00-8:30 if they wake up at 7:00.
- Once routines are set and become a habit it is much easier for children to stay up late one night and then get back into the routine quicker.
- Limit screen time before bed and try to eliminate activities that may over stimulate or cause stress or disruption.
- Add consistent times for exercise and movement activities and routines into the day and evening as well as on weekends. Have fun hopping, skipping, running, walking etc. Make sure your children get at least 60 minutes of activity a day.
Of course if you are concerned about your child’s sleep you should consult with your medical professional.
One resource is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth MD (this is primarily for younger students). Other resources are available at bookstores and online.
February 20-24 – February Break – No School
February 27 – Students return
February 28 – 8:05 – PTO
March 2 – 8:05 – Principal’s Forum, Library Overview of Discipline with Love and Logic
March 7 – 8:05 – School Council, Library
Sincerely, Warren Blair