HCDE News Blog

Sleep deprived students? 3 tips for healthful snoozing

sleep-ecwcEvery teacher has had the experience of leading an engaging, standards-aligned lesson only to look over and see little Johnny’s eyes closing or Jane’s head flat on her desk. How can they learn if they’re not getting the right amount of sleep at home? Getting a good night’s sleep is important at any time of the year, but it’s especially critical when students are testing. Brains need to be at optimum condition to net the best scores.

Carl Hunt and James B. Maas, of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR), offer the following tips for how to get a healthful night’s sleep. Principals, teachers, parents, students and all school staff should all wake up and listen!

  1. Establish a reasonable bedtime. Most elementary school children should be going to bed by 9 p.m. Some children who require more sleep might need to hit the hay earlier.
  2. Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods high in sugar in the late afternoon and evening. This may be obvious to some, but withholding sugar and caffeine from kids can also lead to other health benefits.
  3. Allow plenty of time to wind down before bed. Children should not be bringing their smartphones or tablets to bed with them. They need about an hour of down time to prepare to fall asleep. Such relaxing activities as taking a bath or reading a story can help children fall asleep more easily.

(Contributed by Andrea Segraves, director, HCDE’s Teaching and Learning Center)

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