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Six Tips to Help Schoolchildren Improve a Poor Sleep Schedule

By Brian Acton

Most schoolchildren are now well into the new academic year, but some kids might still be experiencing difficulty adjusting to their school schedule. If your kids are still struggling to get enough sleep, their everyday lives can be negatively affected. After all, quality sleep is important for a kid’s academic performance, physical and psychological health, and overall happiness. Children age 7-12 need around ten hours of sleep each night, while teenagers require at least eight hours. If your kids aren’t meeting this benchmark, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot your kid’s sleep issues. Here are six tips to improve your kid’s sleeping schedule.
  1. Cut Back on Commitments
When a child has too many commitments, those obligations can eat into the time needed to decompress, spend time with family, and wind down for bedtime. An overloaded schedule can also put a lot of stress on a child’s shoulders, which can affect sleep quality. With homework, sports, extracurricular activities, and chores, modern kids can easily get overwhelmed. If your child is frequently doing homework until bedtime or rarely has a spare moment to relax, it might be time to eliminate a few things from their calendar.
  1. Set a Schedule
A consistent schedule can help your kid’s internal clock adjust to their school schedule. Determine how much sleep your child needs, and then enforce a strict bedtime and waking time. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, will help your kid improve their sleep quality and establish a working routine.
  1. Develop a Relaxing Routine
Children need time to wind down as they prepare for sleep. An hour before bedtime, you can have your child perform a relaxing and quiet activity – such as reading, taking a bath, or working on a puzzle – to help them quiet their minds and get ready for bed.
  1. Avoid Overstimulation From Technology
If your kids have gadgets like phones, tablets, and computers, it can be tough to pry them away. But technology can affect a child’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. The light produced by screens restricts the production of melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle. Gadgets also tend to keep the mind active and engaged. Late night notifications can disturb your child’s sleep. You can institute a “no-gadget” policy leading up to bedtime and keep gadgets with notifications away from your kid’s bedroom.
  1. Exercise
Exercise helps children fall asleep faster, while sedentary children have trouble falling and staying asleep. If you want your kids to get a good night’s rest, make sure they get plenty of daily exercise.
  1. Keep it Quiet
Once your kids are in bed, try to maintain a quiet home. A loud television, music, and other noises can cause your kids to wake up and think they’re missing out on fun. For the sake of their sleep, keep your noise levels down.   Sources: https://modernparentsmessykids.com/quiet-time-activities-perfect-getting-kids-settle-bed/ https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/beauty-aging/ultimate-guide-childrens-sleep/ https://sleep.org/articles/design-perfect-bedtime-routine/ http://sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/5887603/Exercise-helps-children-fall-asleep-faster-study-indicates.html https://www.uab.edu/news/youcanuse/item/7579-overscheduling-activities-can-cause-burn-out-for-children-and-parents
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