As your new routine for this school year is taking shape, an important consideration is your children’s sleep habits and how much sleep they’re getting.
According to SleepFoundation.org, teens need an average of eight to ten hours of sleep each night to reach their full academic potential. Unfortunately, though, the majority of them don’t acquire this much sleep. In fact, only about 15 percent of teens get this recommended amount of sleep on school nights. And while you can never force someone to go to sleep, as parents you can always take action to encourage your child to go to bed at a decent time. Let’s take a closer look at boosting academic success with proper sleep habits.
What do the studies suggest?
ScienceDaily.com published an article outlining how studies suggest that higher math scores were earned by students who had greater sleep quality. And students who had fewer awakenings through the night earned higher English and history scores. These same studies also found that students who slept for greater amounts of time on the weekends than they did through the week had poorer academic performance than those who slept the same amounts of time throughout the entire week.
Tips for Achieving Healthy Sleep Habits
First and foremost, if you want your children to form healthy sleep habits, you need to make sure they have a healthy sleep environment. Great ways to tweak their bedrooms to improve overall sleep quality include:
- Installing blackout curtains (the darker the room, the better)
- Install a red or orange night light if your child does not want to sleep in total darkness
- A comfortable mattress, like a SensorGel mattress, is a must
Another tip you need to follow to achieve healthy sleep habits is to implement a regular bed time. Sure, things may happen that prevent your child from getting in bed each night by his bed time, but three to four nights out of the week should be feasible. The time which works best for your child will, of course, depend on the time in the morning he has to wake up. For example, if your child has to wake up each morning at 5:00 am, then a bed time of 9:00 pm is suggested. For children who don’t have to wake until 6:00 am, a bed time of 10:00 pm will be good. Getting up by 6:30 am is highly suggested for all children as most of them have to be at school by 8:00 am, and you want them to have a good hour or two of wakefulness before they start their academic studies.
Remember, you are the parent, so it is your responsibility to encourage healthy sleep habits.