Children need a good night's sleep to wake up happy, rested and ready to learn. Numerous studies have shown that elementary age kids need about 10 hours of sleep a night while tweens and teens still need a good 8 - 9 hours of sleep. I wonder how many children really get the recommended amount of sleep? I think too few. Most of us have a relaxed bedtime during the summer but soon the morning alarms will ring forcing everyone to get up earlier to get to school. Start working on re-adjusting betimes now, this will make the transition from summer schedule to school schedule a little easier. If your children have been staying up later than usual, try pushing the bedtime back by 15 minutes each night and gradually shifting the bedtime to the "normal" hour. At the same time, you will need to awaken them a little earlier each day to re-set their clocks for early morning rising. Also, make sure that you are not only ensuring that you children get a good night's sleep during the school year, but they also get up in time for breakfast! A good night's sleep followed by a healthy breakfast has been shown to improve mood, attention, focus and over all school performance, as well as even helping to prevent obesity. Start off the school year on the right foot. It is easier to begin with good habits than to try and break bad ones. I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.
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