Health Watch -- Back to School: Getting Enough Sleep

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about going back to school. Previously, we discussed how to get kids’ schedules re-set so they can get up in time for school. But how early should children go to bed so they can be sure to get enough sleep?

Dr. John Herman, a pediatric sleep specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says kids who don’t get enough sleep may be too tired to perform well at school. It’s generally recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 12 get at least ten hours of sleep a night, while teens need between 8 1/2 and 9 1/4 hours of sleep. To help kids go to bed early enough, avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening and keep kids away from television and videogames, which stimulate the brain, a couple of hours before bedtime. Instead, focus on quiet bedtime activities, such as reading.


August 2007

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