Evansville doctor offers tips for getting students on back-to-school sleep schedules

Evansville doctor offers tips for getting students on back-to-school sleep schedules
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 12:04 AM EDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - As kids transition from summer break to the new school year, many students are beginning to wake up earlier than they have been over the last few months.

But are your students getting enough sleep?

Adjusting your sleep schedule for school is important, according to Dr. David Schultz, owner and medical director of Evansville Primary Care.

“Because sleep helps improve concentration, behaviors and moods, as well as other routines that we need to set in place by the time the school year starts,” Dr. Schultz said.

Cutting down on sleep distractions 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep is important if you want to get an adequate amount of sleep, Dr. Shultz says.

“To have an effective sleep schedule,” he said. “A parent must have their child go to bed at the same time just about every night.”

Dr. Shultz says a good night’s rest ranges between eight to 10 hours of sleep. And when it comes to using electronics before bed, Dr. Shultz says there are multiple factors that could ruin their schedule.

“Some studies suggest that it disrupts sleep mechanisms where a child may not get as much sleep as they need,” Dr. Shultz said. “Secondly, it does not allow their mind to calm down.”

Dr. Schultz says having a heavy meal before bed can also affect sleep negatively.

“Instead of resting all night long, the digestive tract is working all night long and this takes away from good quality sleep,” he said.

The primary care doctor also says minimizing all bodily distractions can cause a sounder sleep and can help students fall asleep faster. According to Dr. Schultz, students should talk about stress with their parents before bed, where their minds can rest along with their bodies.

”Another problem that can happen to children is not discussing stressors, things that are bothering them,” he said. “It’s very, very important for parents and guardians to talk to their children about some of the things that affected them during the school day. Things that are worrying them, things that are on their mind, so they can discuss those things and get them out in the open.”

Along with a good night’s rest, Dr. Shultz suggests that parents should also keep their children’s immunizations up to date and regularly visit the doctor.

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