Sleep Tight: Back-to-school sleep tips

New_Jammies_schoolNever underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

Especially on a school night.

That’s the message New Jammies parents are sharing with their kids as summer wraps up and going back to school moves front and center. According to a 2014 poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), many children receive less sleep on school nights than they should.

“For children, a good night’s sleep is essential to health, development and performance in school,” said Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, University of Chicago. “We found that when parents take action to protect their children’s sleep, their children sleep better.”

The poll reported that parents’ estimates of sleep time are only 8.9 hours for children ages 6 to 10; 8.2 hours for 11 and 12 year olds; 7.7 hours for 13 and 14 year olds; and 7.1 hours for teens ages 15 to 17. Those numbers fall short, by NSF’s standards. The nonprofit sleep organization recommends kids ages 6 to 10 receive 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and that children in the other three age groups secure 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.

“It can be tough to make time for sleep when we’re too busy; making sleep a priority can give all family members the energy to function at their best every day,” said Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD, West Virginia University. “Sometimes performing better in fewer activities can be a healthy trade for too many activities while fatigued.”

In today’s digital age, many kids have a hard time achieving optimal sleep because of the prevalence of electronics in youth bedrooms. The NSF reports that families who turn off electronics off while sleeping can improve this growing trend.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep for their children, parents may want to limit their children using technology in their bedroom near or during bedtime,” said Orfeu Buxton, PhD, Harvard Medical School.

To help parents approach the better-sleep subject, the NSF has created an educational SleepforKids.org website. The site reminds children and their parents that with more sleep, kidspay better attention in school, are more creative, generate more ideas, fight sickness better, have improved moods and relationships with friends and family, and are quicker problem solvers.

SleepforKids.org offers these sleep practices for preschoolers:

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  2. Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  3. The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.  It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  4. Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioral problems during the day.

And these tips for school-age kids:

  1. Introduce healthy sleep habits, disease prevention and health promotion
  2. Continue to emphasize the need for a regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine
  3. The child’s bedroom should be conducive to sleep: dark, cool and quiet. TV’s and computers should be off and out of the bedroom
  4. Set limits
  5. Avoid caffeine
  6. Watch for signs of chronic difficulty sleeping, loud snoring, difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings and frequent daytime sleepiness.
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Teetering Turtles New Jammies

New Jammies encourages kids to eat right, play right and sleep tight. Our 100% pure, natural organic cotton New Jammies pajamas make heading off to bed a fun and comfortable experience for parents and their children. Make bedtime, and a good night’s sleep, a priority by including a pair of New Jammies in all your back-to-school shopping lists.