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How Important Sleep Is For Children At School

It’s that time again! Summer is coming to an end and we are gearing up and getting ready to send our kids back to school. This time of year can make you wonder about how to set up new routines to help your family be successful. How much sleep does your child need? Why does it matter? Let’s talk about it!


The week before school starts, try to gradually adjust your child’s bedtime to get them ready for going to sleep earlier. It is so important that you stay consistent and keep a routine each night. Set up clear expectations to let your child know that everyone will be going to bed at an earlier time in preparation for school.


Getting a good night's sleep will help your child have enough energy to get through the school day. Research shows that those who do not get enough sleep at night are three times more likely to get a cold when exposed to the virus. When children go back to school, they are being introduced to new germs and need the extra sleep to fight it off. If they are missing school due to sickness, it is going to affect their overall performance.  Studies have also found that if a child is not getting the sleep he/she needs, there is an increased risk of emotional and behavior problems at school. 


The American Academy of Sleep Performance recommends the following amount of sleep:

  • 4 to 12 months -- 12 to 16 hours
  • 1 to 2 years -- 11 to 14 hours
  • 3 to 5 years -- 10 to 13 hours
  • 6 to 12 years -- 9 to 12 hours
  • 13 to 18 years -- 8 to 10 hours


If your child is having trouble falling asleep cut back on some activities like being on their phone, playing video games or being on the computer.  It’s ideal for there to be no screen usage one hour before bedtime.  Do homework right after school, not before bedtime.  Set up some type of routine that helps your family wind down. Have your child read, use a sound machine, take a relaxing bath or some other type of activity that helps signal to the brain that sleep is coming next.


Overall, it is important to stay consistent and make sure your child understands the importance of sleep. Once a routine is established it will become easier to follow every day.


About the author

Shannon Glenn

Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings.  She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.  

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

Don't go through another night of bad sleep.

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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

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