Posted on August 18, 2017
Welcome back! Transitions can often be more tiring than expected, and transitioning from summer back to school is a big one. As I write at the beginning of every year (feel free to look up past blogs), your child is navigating many new situations -- physical, emotional, social -- that can be tiring on his brain and body.
I know it is so challenging to go to bed on time -- and in fact, children may need even more rest than usual because a new school year is taxing -- but please look at your family's schedule and see what you need to do in order to make sleep amongst your top priorities. Having adequate sleep is the foundation for many important functions: it can help him have a more positive attitude towards new situations, better capability to focus and solve problems, a happier emotional state, and even increase his patience with peers.
Here are recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
"Regularly sleeping fewer than the number of recommended hours is associated with attention, behavior, and learning problems. Insufficient sleep also increases the risk of accidents, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and depression.
Following are the recommended minimum and maximum hours each age group should regularly sleep during a 24-hour period for optimal health:
Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
I often discuss with students the differences between "heart feelings" such as happiness, anger, and disappointment, and "body feelings" like hungry, tired, and hot. We also discuss how they affect one another. As you know, being tired can definitely affect our emotional state!
Remember to take it easy on yourself as well -- you're transitioning to a new school year, too!
As for me, I plan to sleep early this weekend so I can be my best again next week. =)