Right Amount of Sleep

Young People Need to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep makes a big difference in the performance of Alsion Montessori middle school students.

The results of many studies lead to an unmistakeable conclusion: A lack of sleep is taking a toll on the lives of our young people. Consider the findings of studies conducted in the last 10 years and information provided by Stanford University’s Sleep Disorder Clinic:

  • Lack of sleep, meaning fewer than eight hours a night, was tied to emotional well-being as well as performance in the classroom. Sleep-deprived students 13 to 16 years of age suffer from anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide.
  • Rising early has a markedly different effect on teens than adults, researchers find. Because they have longer sleep cycles than adults, teens awakened for classes that begin earlier than 8 a.m. had trouble concentrating in class.
  • Doctors suggest school-age students 13 to 16 years of age get 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Once they resume a healthy level of sleep, a student’s mental state and academic performance rebounds.

The temptation of the internet is another factor. In the evening, when teens should be preparing for a good night’s sleep, constant texts, videos, emails, and social media interactions provide too much stimulation.

Another overlooked factor in spending late hours online: Viewing the glowing screen of a smartphone, laptop or desktop monitor arouses the brain and makes it harder to drift off to sleep.

Helping Your Child Adopt Better Sleep Habits

Good sleeping habits need to be taught at an early age. The Cleveland Clinic offers these suggestions to parents of middle school students:

  • Prioritize sleep. Enforce age-appropriate bedtimes without fail. A third-grader who needs to wake up at 6:30 a.m. should have an 8:30 p.m. bedtime. Don’t accommodate changes to bedtime, such as allowing a late snack.
  • Ease into sleep time. A relaxing evening routine prepares a child for bed. Encourage children to wind down by reading, or taking a bath. Begin turning off lights and avoid stressful or physical activities in the evening.
  • Stick to a schedule. Maintain regular bedtimes even on weekends. “Catching up” on sleep by napping typically disrupts nighttime sleep.

Alsion Montessori wants to help your student get the right amount of sleep. If you have questions or comments about this blog post, call 510-445-1127 today.