You've checked off your child's school supply list. You've bought your child a new backpack. You've even planned for all the nutritious, delicious lunches they'll take to school. You and your child are totally set for the new school year…right?
In the hustle and bustle of preparing for a new school year, it's easy to overlook one crucial element that can have a huge impact on your child's success: sleep. Here are three things that you can do to help your child take on school (and play) at their best.
Double Check Your Child Is Getting Enough Hours of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is key to your child's health and development. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to behavioral problems, obesity, and high-risk behavior, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It's no surprise that children need more sleep than adults, but it may be surprising just how much sleep they actually need! Check the chart to your right to see how many hours the National Sleep Foundation recommends for each age group!
Try and Keep Bedtime Consistent
A key part of getting enough sleep is going to bed at the right time and keeping a consistent sleep schedule. During the summer your child's bedtime may have crept later and later as summer break went on. If your child's sleep schedule is out of whack, get back on track by moving bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night two weeks before school starts. Avoid letting your child sleep in on the weekend, even once their sleep schedule is back on track, as this can leave your child (and you!) feeling jetlagged come Monday.
Consider a Firmer Mattress
When selecting a mattress, experts generally recommend getting a firmer mattress to support your child's growing bones. Pediatric chiropractor Dr. Havard Bergby only recommends innerspring mattresses, stating that foam mattresses are too unsupportive and place stress on a child's spine. When it's time to shop for a mattress, have your child lie down on the mattress and ask them non-leading questions about how the mattress feels to them, like if the mattress feels hard or soft. You may also want to consider purchasing larger mattress, like a full, rather than opting for a smaller mattress that they'll grow out of over the next 8-to-10 years. As an added bonus, a full-size mattress makes it easier for you to sit in bed next to your child for bedtime stories or post-nightmare hugs!
By ensuring that your child gets enough sleep, has a sleep schedule that works with their school schedule, and has a mattress that's right for them, you're setting your child up to take on the new school year at their best. Also, as a reminder, when you buy a Simmons mattress at American Furniture Warehouse, we'll donate 2%-4% of your purchase back to a participating school when you mention the school code at checkout! Sweet dreams!