Daylight Savings Time will end this Sunday, November 1. We all can breathe a sigh of relief as we gain an extra hour of sleep before another school week begins. How many hours does that mean your student will have that night? If it is any less than 10 hours, then your student may be at risk for sleep deprivation.
The following are some observations from various studies illustrating some of the difficulties students face when they have sleep problems. (from Wiessbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and On Becoming Baby Wise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, MD)
Toddlers who sleep more are more sociable and less demanding of attention. Toddlers who sleep less can have hyperactive behaviors
Small, but constant, deficits in sleep over time tend to have escalating and perhaps long term effects on brain function
Children with higher IQs -- in every age group studied -- slept longer
Healthy sleep positively affects neurological development and appears to be the right medicine for the prevention of many learning and behavioral problems
A 2010 article from Penn State states, “children with TV or electronics in their bedroom go to bed about 20 minutes later each night, which can add up to about 2 hours of lost sleep each week”. To help students fall asleep, it is suggested that electronics are turned off about 30 minutes before bedtime. The “glow” from electronic devices such as phones, tablets, iPads, etc. delays the release of melatonin in the body (Hatfield, WebMD). Instead of handing your student a tablet before bedtime, have him/her read a book for enjoyment, draw, or journal before bedtime. The Penn State article also states the following guidelines about recommended sleep times based on age:
While each child is different, children require similar amounts of sleep. These guidelines present typical sleep requirements per day (including nap times) by age: