Reporting Natalie Nyhus
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Memo to students: enjoy the extra sleep now. The school year begins in just a matter of weeks. Minneapolis schools are back in session on August 26.
While many families prepare for back to school by shopping for supplies, there are things they could be doing in the home now that help with the transition back to the classroom, including modifying sleep schedules.
Dr. Conrad Iber with the Fairview Sleep System said that kids should be adjusting their sleep schedule now, about two weeks before the start of school.
Everyone is slightly different, but generally teens should be getting 7 to 9 hours per night and elementary students should be getting 9 to 10 hours.
On the first day of school, the average child loses 90 minutes of sleep. A lack of sleep affects kids significantly.
“Well, they will be cranky in the morning. And they won’t perform particularly well in the morning or through the day. The brain just doesn’t work as well,” Iber said. “There’s a reset for the brain and a cleaning action. Learning and memory are better with adequate sleep at night.”
Iber suggests kids simply get up and get out in the sun first thing in the morning from here on out. And at night, limit light. Light helps regulate sleepiness.
Iber has three other “house rules” that will help your kids sleep more and sleep better:
1. Get on a consistent sleep schedule.
2. Reduce light in the evening, and have a curfew on electronic equipment. They engage children and have light, which delays bedtime.
3. Drink less than three caffeinated beverages in a day, and none after 3 p.m.