Back-to-School Report: Lack of Sleep Limits Children’s Productivity

With the new school year already underway, we’d like to share some tips by child development specialist Barbara Stroud to help you and your children have the best school year possible.

“The new school year can be very stressful for both parents and children due to shifts in schedule, lack of sleep and the anticipation and anxiety around a new routine,” says Dr. Barbara Stroud, childhood development expert and ICARE Steering Committee Member, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “During this hectic time of year, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure you and your child are functioning at optimal levels.”

Here are Dr. Stroud’s top five tips to prepare your family to maximize productivity this fall:

Set Your Child’s Routine: Findings from a recent sleep study, conducted by Harris Interactive®, in conjunction with Sit ‘n Sleep, found that a third of respondents have been late to school or work because of a poor night’s sleep. It is important to set a consistent sleep routine and daily schedule for your family, providing the consistency children crave. This, in turn, will result in greater productivity and better focus during the school day.

Don’t Forget Your Own: It is just as important for parents to get enough sleep and keep a regular routine to stay focused and be emotionally available for their children.

Create a Relaxing Sleep Space: Once routines are set, it is important to create a sleep space that is relaxing for both you and your child. If possible, homework, computer and other distractions should stay out of the bedroom, and you should ensure all members of your family have a proper, comfortable mattress and bedding.

Work vs. Play: Designate a place and time for homework so your child knows when and where it is time to work, and when and where it is time to play.

Eat Right: Healthy eating is also an imperative part of your child’s routine and continued productivity. Numerous studies have shown the link between proper nutrition and children’s performance in school, so ensure your kids eat a healthy breakfast and have fruits and vegetables included in their school lunch.

Our President and CEO, Larry Miller, also believes in the importance of a good night’s rest, “Since sleep is such an important factor in ensuring your child’s productivity, getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to success during the day. Tossing and turning all night can leave your entire family exhausted, unfocused and unproductive. This year, you can make sure you give you and your family a head-start by making sleep a top priority.”

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Published: September 8th, 2010 at 11:20
Categories: Sleep Health