Sleep Delivers Benefit

child sleepingIn addition, to keeping up with reading and mathematics this summer, it is a good idea to pay attention to your child’s sleeping patterns.  How many hours a night and the type of sleep your  child gets has a direct benefit to how long he/she is able to focus and how well he/she feels everyday while in school.  Getting a good night’s sleep is an easy activity for most that delivers amazing benefit. Some of the benefits of quality sleep are not only include the typical results like quick mind, good attitude, and the ability to sustain concentration but also a good night’s sleep is known to help with weight control, creativity, and flexibility.

By the end of the summer, children have often developed a sleep diet that keeps them up into the wee hours and asleep to the later part of the morning. Unfortunately, it is this sleep pattern that many children enter the school year with and it is not only difficult for the child to make changes but also difficult for parents to manage.

It is during the summer that you can begin to adjust your child’s sleep patterns so that when the school year begins, healthy sleeping habits are in place. Most doctors recommend that children three to six need to sleep ten to twelve hours a night, children seven to twelve need to sleep ten to eleven hours a night and young adults twelve to eighteen need to sleep eight to nine hours each night. Given this information, the challenge is to figure out how to help your child and young adult adjust their summer sleeping schedule so that come the first day of school there is an easy transition.

First, I would recommend considering your child’s age and taking the amount of hours your child needs to sleep into account. Next, determine at what time the school day will begin and figure out what time the child needs to be asleep in order to ensure your child gets the prescribed amount of sleep. Secondly, during the summer months make sure that you stick to the sleep pattern that you want your child to have. You may need to start slowly and build to a time that the child should go to bed and be woken up. If you find that you are occasionally off by an hour here or there it will not have a dramatic consequence on the pattern that you are trying to establish.

Some say that good quality sleep is related to good diet and exercise.  Providing your family with a balanced and healthy diet is sometimes difficult if you are busy, attend a lot of picnics, and are away from your home. When establishing sleep patterns, you may want to consider adjusting diet if the child’s diet and exercise routine isn’t healthy. You may even want to consult with your pediatrician for some dietary and exercise advice.

Sometimes it is impossible to meet your child’s sleep needs and one idea that you might want to try is thinking about the cycle of sleep that lasts ninety minutes. If you take the amount of time that you can be asleep and divide it by ninety minutes what you might find is that getting up an half hour earlier than what you planned might just be more restful.  In other words, if you go to bed at 11:00 pm and need to get up at 7:00 am, you might find it more restful to wake up at 6:30am rather than 7:00am. At 7:00am you will have just begun another cycle of sleep and the consequence is that you will force yourself to wake in the beginning of a sleep cycle and feel like you are still sleepy.  If instead you wake at 6:30 am it suggests that you have had seven complete sleeping cycles over a period of seven and one half hours of time.

About talkcounts

Diana Loiewski has been teaching special needs students for over thirty years. She not only is a classroom high school teacher, she also serves as an administrative designee in IEP meetings, and case work trainer for the military Exceptional Family Member Program. In addition, she presents on special education topics all over the country and is a co author of Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success, and Healthy Relationships a multimedia workbook for special education teens and adults. ___________________________________________________________________ Elizabeth Dominick is the parent of an 18-year-old special needs student. Elizabeth and her husband navigated the special needs odyssey from the time their son was 3 years old to the present. She and her husband have placed their son in both public and private settings and have worked with attorney advocates to get better services. Ultimately, they ended up educating themselves on special education law. Elizabeth is a past reporter and editor and currently writes parent meditations and other articles for __________________________________________________________________ Sharon McCormick is a special education teacher and blogger. She has been in the classroom for over fifteen years. Prior to that time, she worked with emotionally disturbed youth in residential and group home settings. She is clever and creative and enjoys supporting students with special education needs. ___________________________________________________________________________ Renee Tompkins is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Services. She is an amazing and energetic professional with fifteen years of experience working directly with special needs students. She also serves as a board member of the Special Education Foundation and supports fundraising efforts for teachers within the Poway Unified School District. She is currently employed with the Poway Unified School District and she delivers services to both groups and individuals in the transition program working with adults eighteen-years-- twenty-two years of age. Her current responsibilities include organizing and running a healthy relationship program with both men and women with intellectual disabilities.
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