If You Snooze in School, You Lose


Do you rely on that second or third cup of coffee to make it through the day? Try being a young, growing student with the same problem. Daytime fatigue is often a result of a poor night’s sleep.

Three-quarters of adults report having at least one ongoing issue with sleep during the year, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Imagine a child that has the same problem. Being so tired that he or she can’t function at a normal level is dangerous. With school around the corner bringing another change to the daily routine, the sleep patterns established over the summer break can be hard to break.

It’s astounding to hear that 69 percent of children aged 10 and under experience some type of sleep problem (National Sleep Foundation). Most parents don’t know that kids aged 5-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night. Less than 10 hours of sleep can impair academic performance as well as place a child at risk for falling behind in school, physical injury and obesity.

So how do you handle the shift in routine and sleep schedule? Other than the obvious – no caffeine before bed, watch their sugar intake, etc. here are some tips:

While summer is the perfect time  for a more carefree and fun schedule, we advise parents to start a consistent bedtime ritual 7 – 10 days before school starts so that their child is already in a good sleep/wake routine and ready for the new school year! Because if you snooze in school, you lose.

By Karen Rollins, RRT, RPSGT, coordinator for Roper St. Francis Sleep/Wake Disorder Center