HCDE Back-to-School Tips: Set a Sleep Schedule

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August 9, 2021 by HCDE-Texas

Getting a good night’s sleep is important at any time of the year, but it’s especially critical when making the transition from summer fun to structured learning. Brains need to be at optimum condition to net the best scores.

Set a sleep schedule.

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.

  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. Consider these recommended bedtime stories from Kelly Tumy, HCDE’s curriculum director for English language arts and social studies.

Two bedtime stories recommended by Kelly Tumy, HCDE’s English language arts and social studies curriculum director.
  • “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez follows school-aged children who encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers and learn about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when they are true to themselves.
  • “Love” by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Loren Long is a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.

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

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