With back to school comes back to sleep

The start of the new school year is the perfect time to renew habits that keep students happy and healthy – including sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is holding the third annual Student Sleep Health Week Sept. 12-18, 2022, to inform students, parents and educators about the importance of sleep for success, well-being and overall health.

“Sufficient, healthy sleep is critical for students to excel in schoolwork, sports and extracurricular activities.”

AASM President Jennifer Martin, PhD

Dr. Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist, adds, “When students get proper sleep, they are more optimistic, feel their best, and are better able to concentrate on their studies, while insufficient sleep can leave students exhausted and unprepared for school, making it harder to learn and pay attention.”

Why is sleep so important?

Students who get healthy sleep experience better outcomes, including improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, and mental and physical health.

Establish healthy sleep habits now to help kids benefit long into the future. A recent study found that poor sleep habits in adolescence contributed to poor health outcomes in adulthood.

New school year, new habits

The transition from summer break – a period when children typically have more relaxed schedules and later wake-up times – to the demanding pace of the school year can pose a challenge.

What can you do to help kids get healthy sleep as the school year starts?

Prioritize setting a bedtime to help your kids get enough sleep each night. You can use the AASM’s bedtime calculator to figure out the best bedtime depending on your child’s wake time.

The AASM recommends children 6-12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours each night, while teenagers 13-18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per night.

Try these tips to make the transition into a new school year easier and establish routines that will help keep students healthy and well-rested for their studies.

Join the conversation

Look for social media content using the hashtag #StudentSleepWeek and join medical experts who will answer questions about student sleep during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion at 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 12.

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