As we get started and accustomed to a new academic year for students, we need to take a moment to talk about sleep. How much sleep do children and adolescents actually need? What are signs that they are getting quality sleep or insufficient sleep? Many adults track their own sleep, but are you monitoring your child’s?
When children and adolescents don’t get enough sleep it impacts their ability to focus, remember information, and regulate their emotions – all things that are critical to their wellbeing on any given day. In today’s episode, we’re discussing this crucial piece to a child’s health. So listen to find out if your child is sleeping enough, getting quality sleep, and some tips to improve sleep if it is a struggle.
[2:03] – Dr. Wilson is very passionate about the topic of sleep. It’s not thought about often, but it is so critical.
[3:00] – Transitioning from a summer with little sleep schedule to a new school year with a routine can be very difficult for children.
[3:51] – The importance of sleep cannot be overestimated but many children and teens do not get enough sleep.
[5:04] – How much sleep do kids actually need? Dr. Wilson shares published sleep guidelines.
[6:38] – The number of hours are in a range and there are other indicators of getting enough sleep.
[8:13] – What are the signs of sleep deprivation in kids?
[9:01] – Also pay attention to how long it takes for a child to fall asleep and how alert they are throughout the day.
[10:18] – Insufficient sleep can cause issues with memory, mood, and stress.
[11:26] – Early sleep issues are predictive of ADHD symptoms later.
[12:25] – Even just an hour difference in sleep can make a difference with attention and cognitive functioning.
[13:51] – School schedules have an impact on sleep and some school districts start later in the morning to allow for students to sleep longer durations.
[15:19] – Kids with ADHD are more likely to challenge parents and have behavioral problems around bedtime.
[16:39] – Karen advises to have a consistent bedtime routine, to avoid overscheduling activities, and to remove distractions from the bedroom.
[19:11] – Lights from screens can suppress melatonin and can delay the onset of sleep.
[19:56] – Having a dark and cool room is best for quality sleep.
[20:50] – Always talk about sleep patterns with your child’s pediatrician.
[21:35] – Making sleep a priority for yourself is modeling the importance of sleep in a healthy lifestyle for your children.
Links and Related Resources:
- 5 Reasons Sleep Matters Most for Children
- 8 Ways Teenagers Suffer When They Don’t Get Enough Sleep
- Episode 40: Lifestyle Activities That Can Improve ADHD Symptoms with Dr. Joel Nigg
- Episode 24: Should We Worry About Screen Time During a Pandemic? with Dr. Allison Kawa
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.