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Insights for Parents

Provided by D-G Elementary in recognition of your role as a partner in education

David R. Hill, Principal

The Importance of Sleep

Dear Parents,
Once again this year, D-G Elementary is proud to provide Insights for Parents, a series of reports that will be sent home
on an occasional basis to share useful information and resources for parent involvement. We hope you fill find Insights for
Parents to be a useful tool in our parent-school partnership.
How many hours of sleep does your child get each night? Now that the summer is over and the school year is in full
swing, many children are still getting used to having an earlier bedtime and getting up earlier each morning to catch the bus
or walk to school. This issue of Insights for Parents discusses the importance of ensuring that students have an adequate
amount of sleep. It includes a recent article from the Waterloo Courier. I would like to thank Yvonne Keller of the Waterloo
Courier for granting permission for us to reprint this article in its entirety.


David Hill, Principal

Students' daily assignment should be to get enough sleep

By META HEMENWAY-FORBES, Waterloo Courier An appropriate bedtime is crucial to academic success,
McVicker added, noting her own children are in bed by 9
De'Quan Campbell's mom makes him go to bed at 10 p.m. p.m. on school nights.
on school nights. But the West High freshman doesn't fall
asleep right away. In fact, he often stays up for several more "Sleep deprivation affects everyone," she said. "Some kids
hours --- sometimes until 2 a.m. --- watching TV. fall asleep in class. For teens who are driving, they are more
prone to accidents."
"My mom wakes me up at 6 a.m.," he said.
"I'm not really that tired when I get up." While individual sleep needs vary, a good
rule of thumb is 10-11 hours for grade-
But as the day wears on, Campbell admits schoolers; nine to 10 hours for middle-
he tends to get a little drowsy. Par for the schoolers; and nine hours for high school
course, say health experts. students.
As the lazy days of summer grind to a halt A 2004 poll by the National Sleep
and students head back to school, their Foundation found that first- through fifth-
sleep schedules transition from late nights graders get about 9.5 hours of sleep. A
and sleeping in to appropriate bedtimes and 2006 NSF survey showed that adolescents
early morning starts. get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep
per night.
It's a tough adjustment, said Dr. Arla McVicker of the
Covenant Clinic in Evansdale. Nearly half of the adolescents polled admitted to getting less
than eight hours of sleep on school nights.
"Summertime is synonymous with sleeping in. It may take a
few weeks to break the cycle, but eventually they'll get up (continued on the next page)
and won't feel sleepy," she said.
(continued from the previous page) language arts instructor said students who aren't getting
enough sleep often hit the wall after lunch.
TV was found to be a major sleep thief. According to the 2006
NSF poll, 43 percent of school-aged kids have TVs in their "They'll put their heads down on the desk, and you'll see lots of
bedrooms. blinking and yawning," she said. "Either that or they start to talk
too much to try and wake themselves up."
That's what keeps siblings and West High students Stevan and
Jelena Krickovic from getting their fair share of Zs. During the first week of school, Infelt emphasizes to students
the need for adequate sleep. Too little slumber results in poor
The pair often stay up until 11 p.m. watching "Family Guy," in performance, she said.
spite of their 6 a.m. rise and shine.
McVicker of Covenant Clinic concurs. "Kids with adequate
"Sometimes I take naps after school," said Jelena, a junior. sleep do better in school. No child should be getting just seven
"I get a little tired after third period and sometimes after lunch," to eight hours of sleep and expect to do well."
said Stevan, a freshman.
Sue Infelt has seen a lot of tired students in her 17 years as a
teacher. The Bunger Middle School sixth-grade reading and

Help Your Child Get a Good Night's Sleep

When parents and kids are busy dealing with the excitement of new classes, new teachers, new schedules, and new friends, it's
easy to forget the importance of a good night's sleep.

Students can find it difficult to get back to their school year sleep schedules after a summer of staying up and waking up at later
hours. Back to school means resetting biological clocks to ensure sufficient sleep every night and a healthier, safer, and more
productive school year.

"It is important for children to have a healthy start to their school day and come to classes feeling awake and ready to learn," said
Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in pediatric sleep and a member of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) board
of directors. Dr. Mindell noted that in addition to the health benefits of sufficient sleep, there are also safety issues." A recent study
even shows there is a higher accident rate for children following any period of sleep loss," she added.

To help parents, educators, and children plan a back to school sleep schedule, NSF offers the following tips that should be
maintained throughout the school year.

Establish a Regular Bedtime and Wake Up Time

Parents and children should plan a daily schedule that includes the basic daily sleep
requirements for particular age groups. This schedule should be maintained on the
weekends, though students can be permitted to sleep in one or two hours on weekend
mornings if necessary. While individual sleep needs can vary, the amount of sleep
suggested by Dr. Mindell and other sleep experts for particular age groups is:

• Elementary School Students 10-12 hours/night

• Pre-teens (middle/junior high school) 9-11 hours/night
• Teens 8.5-9.5 hours/night

Remember to add 10-20 minutes to bedtime for falling asleep.

Create a Bedtime Routine

Bedtime routines are important, regardless of a child's age. It should include at least 15-30 minutes of calm, soothing activities.
Immediately prior to bedtime, encourage quiet time with some relaxing activities. Discourage television, exercise, computer and
telephone use, and avoid caffeine (found in beverages, chocolate and other products).

Achieve a Balanced Schedule

Identify and prioritize activities that allow for downtime and sufficient sleep time. Help students avoid an overloaded schedule that
can lead to stress and difficulty coping, which contribute to poor health and sleep problems.

Be a Role Model
Parents and guardians can be role models for school aged children by establishing their own regular sleep schedule and a home
environment conducive to healthy sleep habits