We are noticing many of our middle school students are tired during their class meetings and some students are missing meetings because they are not yet awake. It is reasonable that students are experiencing an increase in screen time during this period. With that said, too much screen time and using screens late at night can negatively impact your Child’s health and performance. We would like to help by providing some suggestions and facts regarding children and healthy sleep habits.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours each night. Teenagers should get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Getting the right kind of sleep is important.
Teens are naturally entering a phase when their bodies want to go to sleep later. Try to create a schedule with your teen. Have your teen wake up at the same time each day, preferably before 9am, and follow the same morning routine they would as if they were going to school; eat breakfast, get dressed and brush their teeth. If your middle schooler is going to wake up by 9 am, they should be asleep by 11pm, at the latest. To help them fall asleep, restrict electronics for at least one hour before the desired bedtime and develop a “winding down” routine.
If possible, school work should be completed outside of the student’s bedroom. It makes it easier to fall asleep if the bedroom is associated with sleep and not with electronic usage and work. If your child is using electronics late into the evening, it can negatively impact their ability to fall asleep. If you are concerned your child is using electronics when they are not supposed to be, have your child place their devices outside their room (and in your room if needed) when electronic time ends.
Getting enough physical activity can help children sleep better. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Ideally they will go out in the yard, but indoor physical activity, such as yoga and stretching, is also effective.
If you are struggling with your child’s sleep habits, please feel free to reach out to our school nurse, guidance or your pediatricians office for advice.