Grace Lutheran School

Jacksonville, Florida

I don't know about you, but I could live without time change!  "Falling back" for an hour and adjusting my sleep schedule is not my idea of a good time.  For parents with kids, it can be a nightmare trying to adjust sleep patterns by an hour.

Time change is the perfect time to look at the importance sleep for student success and refresh bedtime routines.

If you want to read a long and tedious article about the link between sleep and student achievement, then I recommend this study performed by Bringham Young University that shows a strong relationship between test scores, academic performance, and sleep.

For the rest of us, we can see in our own lives that good sleep improves mood, improves focus, helps us to regulate our emotions, and improves our overall outlook on life.  All things a student needs to do well at school!

The American Pediatric Association provides sleep guidelines for different ages.  

3-6 year olds need 11-12 hours 

7-12 year olds need 10-12 hours

13-18 year olds need 8-10

Knowing the amount of sleep needed is just the start.  Ensuring our kids are getting sufficient, quality sleep is the rest of the equation.  And to do that, it's all about setting a routine and sticking with it.  

Experts recommend that all electronics are turned off at 1 hour before bed.  Even turning off screens just 30 minutes before bed can have a positive impact on the quality of sleep.

A good bedtime routine is simple and consistent.  It generally includes putting on pjs, brushing teeth, using the bathroom, getting a drink of water, and having a story or talk time while the child is in bed, prayer, and a goodnight kiss or I love you.

Following a routine puts an end to arguments and excuses to get up and use delay tactics to avoid bed.  Using a picture chart for younger children, or a short list with older children, can help to cut down on excuses for children who fight the routine.

If you love your teachers, do them a favor, and help your child get the right amount of sleep.  They'll thank you for it, and you just might be amazed at the improvement it makes on their schooling.