Sherrie Betts- 6th grade and 7th grade with last names starting with L-Z Counselor
Ever year around this time I seem to notice a trend of sleepy students. I have many students telling me they are having troubles staying awake in class, that they don’t get enough sleep at night, they are too tired to pay attention, or even they are too tired to go to lunch. Each time a student and I have a discussion about the lack of ability to pay attention in class because they are too tired, we discuss the importance of sleep and how lack of sleep can affect the body and mind. Here is an interesting article that I found discussing this same issue.
IS YOUR CHILD GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP TO PERFORM AT HIS OR HER BEST? HOW KIDS CAN SLEEP SMARTER AND PERFORM BETTER
Kids know they should eat well and be physically active, but they don’t always understand that healthy sleep is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. And while they often wish they were getting more sleep, they report sleep as the lowest scoring health item for things that are important for their well-being. In fact, did you know that 71 percent of students are sleep deprived by an average of 1.7 hours a night1?
Let’s do the Math: How Sleep Affects Academic Performance and Achievement
Research shows that students need at least 8 hours of shuteye each night2 . But if they are not hitting the hay before 10:30 p.m. on school nights – and they have to be out the door by 7:15 a.m. (or earlier) to get to school – that’s less than the minimum hours needed for winding down, getting to sleep, and then getting ready for school in the morning.
Chronic sleep deprivation is a real problem. It’s not simply too much screen time or social media that’s to blame. Kids are staying up later and getting up earlier because school days are longer and they have more work to manage in a shorter amount of time outside the school bells. This cycle is stressful for students.
What Do Our Kids Think Could Help?
A 2018 survey, conducted by GENYOUth in partnership with Sleep Number, found that 42 percent of students say they don’t get enough sleep because of things they have to do, like homework, compared to 22 percent who report that it’s due to things they choose to do. We might think that students believe that less time on social media would result in more sleep. The reality? Kids believe help managing their time is the answer.
More than half sleep-deprived students believe they would handle stress better and do better in school if they got more vitamin ZZZ. Furthermore, students with higher grades are getting more sleep each night than those with lower grades.
Adults can help their kids be less busy and teach and support good sleep habits, such as bedtime routine.
Bed Times Matter!
According to the GENYOUth survey, 60 percent of students who get eight or more hours of sleep go to bed around the same time each night. Students who do not have a regular bedtime, about one-third of the survey respondents, get six or less hours of snooze time. Students with a set bedtime usually go to sleep around 10:00 p.m. Those without, on average, go to bed around 11:00 p.m. and are more likely to stay up past midnight.
So how much is enough? Is your child getting the adequate amount of quality sleep? Check out the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s recommendations3.
What’s one step you can commit to help your child take to support better sleep?
Regular bed time? Later wake-up time? Better time management? Let us know by updating and sharing the message below on social media!
I support healthy sleep for my child by (FILL IN THE BLANK). Are you supporting healthy sleep? Learn more at HealthierGeneration.org/SmarterSleep #SmarterSleep
Get tips, resources, activities and more to help kids sleep better.
- Sleep Number and GENYOUth Exercise Your Influence. Teens and Sleep: Back-to-School 2018. Retrieved from https://blog.sleepnumber.com/students-feel-helpless-why-sleep-gets-an-f/
- Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. (2016). Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.sleepeducation.org/docs/default-document-library/pediatric-sleep-consensus.pdf
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2017, February 9). Healthy Sleep Habits. Retrieved from http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits
Hello 6th grade Families,
As the First Quarter comes to a close, this is always a time that I see students in a panic over grades and missing assignments. I am constantly encouraging students to check their Q/Zangle so they can stay on top of grades, classwork, large projects, and missing assignments. I stress that they should be checking their Q at least once a week. This is an important skill and tool that they will be needing to use for the rest of their Middle School and High School years. Another skill that the 6th grade teachers and I are working hard on teaching is self advocacy. We encourage students to ask questions when they don’t understand classwork, homework, or often what the Missing Assignment in Q is. This is a hard skill for most students at this age. I have had many students who would rather have a missing grade than have to communicate directly with a teacher about missing work. A great compromise to this is having the student email their teacher with their questions. This allows the students to still communicate with the teacher while minimizing the anxiety that the face to face dialog can cause. The end goal is of coarse for the student to build self-confidence and be able to advocate in person and communicate directly with their teachers. This is a skill that sometimes takes years to develop, however, we will continue to work with every student with that goal in mind.