Taking a Test on Your Child's Sleep

We’ve discussed it at length here at SleepBetter.org, but it bears repeating — if you want healthy children who are successful in school, one of the biggest things you can do as a parent is try to ensure they get a good night’s sleep.  New York Times’ Personal Health Reporter Jane Brody took up the mantle this week in a story that covered sleep for not only elementary school students, but also teens.  She suggests recording their sleep times to get a good handle on how much shut-eye they’re getting:

To help you and your children better appreciate their sleep needs, I’d like to suggest a little test. For a week or two before school ends and again during summer vacation, keep a three-column sleep diary for your children. Or, if they are able and willing, ask them to do it themselves.

In one column, record lights-out time during the school week and on weekends or vacation days. In a second column, record sleep latency — that is, how long it takes them to fall asleep. And in the third column, record wake-up time, noting whether arousal occurs naturally or with an alarm (or dousing with cold water!).

You can get some guidelines on how much sleep children need from this SleepBetter article, appropriately entitled How much sleep does my child need?

To read the full New York Times article, click here.