HOUSTON — Why could sleep be the secret to success in kindergarten?
A new study finds that 10 hours of sleep a night is key to kids getting a good start in kindergarten. The researchers monitored how much sleep kids got a night and then had teachers evaluate their transition to formal schooling.
The teachers did not know how much each child was sleeping and consistently reported that kids who were getting 10 hours or more of sleep performed better academically and socially.
Experts already recommend children get 10-plus hours of sleep but the current guidance from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that sleep can happen over the course of a day. That means many parents use naps to make sure kids get enough rest.
But this study found that 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep over the course of a night was key for successful adjustment to school.
If you have a child heading to kindergarten in the fall now is a good time to start establishing healthy sleep habits. That means getting them to bed early and at the same time every night.
If they take long naps it may be time to cut those back to consolidate sleep overnight. Also limit screen time before bed. All that can help create a successful student ready to learn.