For as long as I can remember the two most vital instructions given the night before an exam are to eat a good breakfast and get a good night’s rest. Lot of things have changed over the years but these instructions have transcended generations and to date, a couple decades since I received this formal instruction, my children still receive it. But many ponder, what exactly is the correlation between sleep and academic performance? Isn’t it better to pull an ‘all nighter’ in lieu of sleep? Or isn’t it ok for my middle school child stay up a little while longer and watch that extra show? The answer , unfortunately is no.
Researchers have found an incredible link between how well children perform and how efficiently they are sleeping. However, efficient sleeping is not merely going to bed. It is more so the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sure, a bedtime routine is the first step in establishing good sleep habits; but if the child is going to bed and tossing and turning then the quantity of the time they have been in bed is insignificant when compared to the quality of rest they are actually amassing.
Much of the brain functions imperative to high performance standards is dependent upon the “executive functions” of the brain. These include retell and recall ability, working memory, planning and focus. The anatomy that supports those skills is in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is very sensitive to the sleep and the lack thereof.
As a parent, what can you do to ensure good sleep habits?
Establish a bedtime routine
- for example: start winding down, have a snack, brush your teeth, take a shower, change into night time clothing, read a book, conversate with a friend or family member, clear your mind, pray, fall asleep.
Make bedtime consistent so that the body can know what to expect. As humans, we depend upon muscle memory and it may seem insignificant but nothing compensates for continuously sticking to a routine
Remove computers, smart phones, televisions, etc out of the room. Research suggests that the light emitted from these devices create harm to the eyes and brain and detract from good sleep.
Teach children about the benefits of a good nights’ rest
What if these steps are carefully followed and the child still doesn’t rest well? Try playing some white noise to block out everything else as some children stay awake once they sense others around, if only to ensure they don’t miss out on something important.
Fade Away Sleep Sounds can help alleviate sleep problems by playing soothing sounds and gradually fading out the sound while you sleep so you aren’t jostled by the abrupt silence of a sound that started out loud. This allows you to drift into sleep and creates a more conducive sound pattern for staying asleep longer thus gaining efficiency and quality in sleep.
In addition to better scholastic performance, efficiency in the quality of sleep is also associated with having a good attitude, making less impulsive decisions and maintaining a healthy body weight
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.