Insufficient sleep is a problem for kids all year long.
U of L sleep specialist Sarah Morsbach Honaker was in the WDRB studio to talk about getting children into an optimum sleep schedule as they head back to school.
School-aged children (6-12) need 10-11 hours.
Adolescents need 9 hours sleep.
· School starts early in the morning but adolescents biologically aren't sleepy until later at night.
· Nearly 30 percent of high school students report falling asleep in school at least once a week
Insufficient sleep can affect academic performance and mood. In teens, it affects decision-making and driving ability.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to mental illness, learning and attention problems, driving accidents and weight gain.Changing bedtimes can make sleep problems worse.
When the school year starts, kids may not be tired at their school bedtime.
Putting a child to bed before they are tired can cause sleep problems, increase bedtime anxiety and lead to bedtime behavior problems.
What a Parent Can Do
Set a sleep schedule to allow your child sufficient sleep.
Transition gradually, at a rate of 15-30 minutes per day.
Start by waking you child earlier and earlier each day and adjusting the bedtime accordingly.
Upon awakening, have your child sit in a sunny part of the house for 30 minutes.
Keep a regular routine (vary by only one hour on weekends).
Avoid electronics within an hour of bedtime.
Limit caffeine six hours before bed.
Sarah Morsbach Honaker PhD, CBSMClinical/Sleep PsychologistUofL Pediatrics Sleep Medicine Center(502) 852-KIDS