it’s elementary – sleep and school

by gurumommy on November 13, 2010

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Welcome back to Josie Bahedry & her gurumommy column “It’s Elementary”.  This week Josie writes about the importance of sleep for school children.  Josie asks:  If there was a way to wave a magic wand and get your child to be more focused in school, more alert in T ball and soccer games, and less lethargic during homework time, wouldn’t you want to wave it? How about if the solution was as simple as making sure your child had a good night’s sleep. Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in their bestseller Nurtureshock wonder why  we obsess over our babies’ sleep, yet this concern falls off the priority list once preschool begins. Our elementary schools have rigorous curriculums, heavy homework loads and high expectations, and on top of this parents are scheduling more and more after school activities.  Research from the National Sleep Foundation shows that children today get an hour less sleep then children did thirty years ago. Sleep scientists say that the impact of this lost hour of sleep has a much more negative effect on young children because their brains are still a work in progress and so much of their brain growth occurs during sleep. Tired children have difficulty remembering what they have learned, their impulse control and emotions are impacted too. Bronson and Merryman’s call to battle to all parents is…Protect their sleep hours fiercely and be guardians of their slumber. Get your kids to snooze so when they are in school, they won’t lose! It’s Elementary!

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