Wednesday: Sleep and Homework
Sleep and How it Can Help Improve School Work
By: Tori O’Brien
These days it’s hard not to let your child try to be (or require them to be) a SUPER-KID! This means they are great in school or involved in all kinds of activities or sports to the point that they have lack of unstructured time or enough sleep. I know this was very true of me in high school (mainly on my accord), BUT it seems to be more and more prevalent these days with kids wanting to go to highly acclaimed schools or earn certain achievements and successes (especially since our society places so much value on these things).
HOWEVER, Americans are known for high-stress, constant achievement, never stopping lifestyles and it may not benefit us as much as we think in the long run. SLEEP is VITAL to a growing child and a well functioning brain. Recently, “a panel of six sleep experts and 12 other medical experts from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Psychiatric Association and the Society for Research in Human Development, conducted a formal literature review. The panel focused on the body of research surrounding sleep duration in healthy human subjects that had been published in peer-reviewed journals between 2004 and 2014.” From the 312 articles reviewed, the experts were able to fine-tune existing sleep duration recommendations as detailed below:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (range narrowed from 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (range widened from 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (range widened from 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (range widened from 11-13)
- School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11 hours (range widened from 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (range widened from 8.5-9.5)
- Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no change)
- Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new age category)”
Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation, said in a statement, “this is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety.”
SO, with these amounts of sleep recommendations in mind, your student’s need for naps or lots of hours sleeping on the weekends or in general might make more sense. Adequate sleep also helps improve memory retention, focus, and lower anxiety. We as adults also need more sleep (and not everyone needs as much as other people), but we get so use to the lack of sleep and functioning at that level, we don’t even realize the potential we could have or that our kids can have if they get enough rest. So, maybe scheduling in some rest time (literally and figuratively) would not only improve ourselves, but also our kids desire to learn and ability to perform in school.
Tell us what you think. How much sleep does your child get?