With the new school year upon us, it’s always difficult to get kids back on a normal schedule after the fun of summer. This difficulty proves worth it, though, because ensuring that kids have an early bedtime and a full night of sleep proves very beneficial! Kids experience a number of benefits from getting their full dose of “ZZZ’s” at night that range from physical to emotional. Some of those include:
- They grow! The Growth hormone is produced in 4th stage of sleep so when kids regularly go to bed early and have a full night’s sleep, their bodies are given enough time to produce this hormone.
- Don’t get sick as much. Sleep helps to support the immune system to help kids fight off infections
- Better memory. When you sleep, your brain is still processing information so the more sleep kids get, the more their brains have time to process the information they received during the day.
- They are more attentive and active in class. Sleep helps your child to focus and have more energy during the day because getting a full night of sleep helps their bodies to rejuvenate, keeping them from waking up tired which helps them to be more alert and aware during class.
- Behave better. When kids are cranky and “wired” in the afternoon and before bed, it can be because they are so tired that their body is responding with a rush of adrenaline. If you notice this happening, try putting them to bed at least 20 minutes to an hour earlier than normal for a few days in a row to see how their behavior changes.
The biggest things that parents can do to make sure kids have a good night’s rest are to enforce a consistent early bed time and create a nightly routine! This will help kids prepare for bed time and give them a full night of sleep. If they have trouble getting into the routine, you can help by encouraging ‘rest time.’ Get into pajamas at the same time they do and turn off all phones and televisions early so they begin to calm down. Also, not letting kids sleep late on the weekends will help because sleeping in, even if only on those two days, will break the consistency and they will have to restart the process each week. You will notice that soon, your child will wake up more pleasant and refreshed which will lead to a better day for them and for you!