A healthy breakfast. Enough help with homework. Plenty of time to study. All of these things will improve school performance, but what about a good night of sleep? To thrive in school, kids need the energy, focus, and retention capabilities offered only by a great night of sleep. What most parents don’t know, though, is precisely how important this addition is.
According to a study of roughly 1,000 children and preadolescents, poor sleepers (study participants who had a hard time falling asleep and typically woke at least once a night) were significantly more likely to face trouble in school.
In fact, the study found that one of the single best indicators of failure in school was the level of fatigue the study participant was facing.
In another study of 3,000 high school students, the participants who earned higher grades enjoyed much more sleep each night and earlier bedtimes their peers, who got lower grades. Students reporting B's or higher, for example, got 17-33 minutes of extra sleep on school nights and went to bed an average of 50 minutes earlier than kids with C grades or lower.
The students with lower grades also went to sleep an average of 2.3 hours later on weekends than they did on school nights. A/B students, meanwhile, had a bedtime that was 1.8 hours later on weekends. This relationship held true for college students, as well.
If you want your child to do better in school, improving sleep should be your first approach. Here are a few ways to do that:
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