Your Tahoe Health: Better sleep patterns equate to better grades | SierraSun.com

Your Tahoe Health: Better sleep patterns equate to better grades

Special to the Sun-Bonanza

A good night's sleep is very important for the health of your children.

Across all age groups, signs of sleepiness are associated with behavioral and learning difficulties.

Children who seem excessively sleepy during the day are more likely to experience problems with learning, attention, hyperactivity, and disruptive behavior than kids who aren't sleepy, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Sleepiness causes problems with concentration and mood, and can make it hard for students to stay awake in class.

As kids get older, sleepiness leads to slipping grades. In a study of 3,000 high school students in New England, those who reported higher grades had significantly more sleep time and earlier bedtimes on school nights than those with lower grades.

Students reporting B's or better got 17-33 minutes more sleep on school nights and went to bed 10-50 minutes earlier than students with C's and below.

Students with lower grades also went to bed on average 2.3 hours later on the weekends than on school nights, compared to A/B students, who went to bed 1.8 hours later on the weekends. The same relationship has held true for college students as well.

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Recent research suggests that children need a pretty consistent time of waking, just like adults. The biggest struggle is getting them to bed early.

Keep in mind that even if its 10-15 minutes earlier, it can make a grade of a difference! Implementing healthy sleep habits with children and adolescents can have lasting effects as they become adults.

For more information, visit, http://www.sleepfoundation.org.

This article was provided by the B-FIT Team at Tahoe Forest Health System. Sleep is the B-FIT wellness theme for January. For more information about B-Fit and our programs in local schools, contact gvanatta@tfhd.com or call 530-550-6730.