Yes, you read that correctly.
Back to school is a busy time of the year—for both parents and kids! As parents, we’re eager to find out which teachers our kids have while our kids are anxious to learn which of their friends they have classes with. Although the start of the school year sometimes feels slow, it never fails that the homework and extracurriculars pile on. Fast.
On top of copious amounts of schoolwork, most kids participate in clubs or sports. Some even have jobs. All of this combined with growing, learning and hormones can be tough to balance.
With all of these responsibilities and expectations, one absolute necessity is often sacrificed: sleep.
Rather than expecting kids to pull all-nights to “get the work done,” we should encourage a balance that places extreme importance on sleep.
Many of us and our kids have probably been guilty of thinking If I sleep, I’ll get less done and things will be worse. That’s actually not true, and here’s why…
Sleep Helps You Manage Stress
Think back to a time where you were under a lot of stress or pressure. Can you remember what it felt like after you got a really good night of sleep? Perhaps you felt recharged. Or maybe like the weight of the world had been lifted off your shoulders when you woke up.
While you may lose time sleeping, you’re actually managing stress. Sleep is calming for our bodies, especially kids. Without sleep, our bodies would have a hard time restoring itself. Think of sleep as hitting the reset button.
When you consistently get the right amount of sleep, your body refocuses its concentration levels, mood, judgement and decision making skills. All of which are needed, especially for young kids and adults.
Sleep Improves Learning
You might think that sleeping would hinder your memory. Perhaps if you go to sleep, you might forget what you were just doing or what you wanted learned today. However, sleep does just the opposite.
During sleep, memories and learning are reinforced. This process occurs during REM, which is the sleep cycle right after deep sleep. What that means is you must allow enough time to sleep to reach the REM cycle so memories and learning have time to consolidate, process and be stored.
How Much Sleep Should Someone Get?
Ages 6-13: 9-11 Hours/Night
Ages 14-17: 8-10 Hours/Night
Ages 18-25- 7-9 Hours/Night
Ages 26-64: 7-9 Hours/Night
Ages 65+: 7-8 Hours/Night