Sleep success during back-to-school season

Lizzie and Luke Stanley enjoy the last few weeks of Summer. (Photo: Matt Barbour/WPDE)

For many families, getting back into the school routine can be tough at the start of the new school year. If you have a child in elementary school, there are several reasons a good night's sleep is crucial.

Six-year-old Lizzie Stanley loves spending the Summer playing with her baby brother, Luke. She is full of energy, to say the least.

"That's probably going to be the biggest challenge with going back to school," says her mom, Heather.

Her mom already has plans in the works to get Lizzie back in a regular bedtime routine.

"We're going to back it up by like 15 minutes until we get to where we want to be," she says.

Doctor David Rosenberg, the medical director of pediatric care at Grand Strand Medical Center, says lack of sleep cannot only affect performance in school, but can also lead to other health problems for young children.

"We already know that poor sleep increases the risk of obesity," says Dr. Rosenberg.

It can also contribute to depression and anxiety.

For children ages 6 to 12, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night.

Rosenberg also says to keep in mind what your child does before bed time.

"The quality of the sleep can be affected by what you're doing prior to sleeping," he says.

Rosenberg says a winding down period is just as important as quality sleep.

It is something the Stanleys already do.

"We read for a while, each night too. Because I think that's very important," says Heather.

Lizzie is more than ready for school..

"I'm going to be in first grade," she exclaims.

She plans on getting a good night's sleep for her own reasons.

"It gives me more energy. And it gives me more energy to jump and play and talk a lot," says Lizzie.

But in the meantime, she has a few more days to run wild.

Roseberg said he understands many families have hectic routines with school and other activities.

He says at the very least, elementary age children should get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.

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