It can be quite difficult for your child to get the rest that they need at night, as there are many obstacles impeding sleep for them at that age. One big obstacle to a good night’s rest is early school starts. When your child has to wake up early in the morning to go to school, this can have significant damage on their overall health and well-being.
Schools adopting a later start instead of an early start is a hot topic issue that many have discussed, with some claiming that there are benefits to children starting later, such as better sleep for adolescents.
The amount of sleep children need varies by age, with some groups needing more than others, but children overall require more sleep than adults. This can quickly and easily manifest itself as sleep deprivation when children are waking up way too early for school.
While sometimes it may seem like you are powerless against your child’s sleep problems, there are some things you can do to help them. Early school starts may not change soon, but you can help your child prepare better for them.
The side effects that early starts have on health and sleep
When we do not get enough sleep in our life, we tend to have significantly less energy to go about our days than usual. This can result in poor performance in many areas of life, such as at home, at work, and even at school.
As you can probably guess, this also can affect your child’s performance at school. When sleep deprived, your child is not able to focus as well as they normally would, meaning that it is harder for them to do homework and tests, resulting in bad grades.
That is why good sleep habits are without a doubt important to your child’s success at school. However, sometimes this is a bit hard to overcome, given the ruthless cycle of studying that could put serious strain on sleep.
Your child may come home with a lot of homework that often makes them stay up late at night to finish it, resulting in much less sleep. With most schools starting very early in the morning, this means that many kids often find themselves exhausted at school, even sleeping in class.
This cycle perpetuates both long-standing sleep deprivation and poor academic performance, which might lead to even more stress, causing serious undue strain on their mental and physical health. Recognizing this issue early on is key to fixing it.
Ways you can help your child adjust to early school starts
Most of the time, early school starts are unavoidable, unfortunately, meaning that parents and kids have to adjust their schedules accordingly to meet the demands of the education system. While this may seem difficult, there are ways in which parents can help their children to get better sleep.
For starters, making a better sleep schedule or earlier bedtime can help your child out a fair amount. If your child tends to stay up way longer than they should, setting earlier bedtimes can help get them more sleep.
Sometimes, though, this is not so straightforward, as your child may bring home schoolwork that keeps them up longer than needed. As a parent, you can help your child manage their time better so that they get their homework done much earlier in the day. When work is done much sooner, that lends itself to more sleep.
Another thing that parents can do to help their child is to make sure that they are sleeping comfortably at night. More sleep is not inherently good if it is of poor quality. Making sure that your child’s bedroom is not too hot or cold can help, as well as making sure that it is quiet enough for peaceful sleep.
Stress is a common side effect of intense studying, which can definitely reduce your child’s capability to do well in school. If the problem becomes more serious, you can always talk to a doctor about your child’s health, as they might know what is best for them.
Implementing proper diet and exercise can also help curb the negative effects of early starts. Getting your child to eat healthier foods, especially in the morning, and encouraging light exercise can help them feel more energetic and ready for the day.
Early school starts can be rough on any child’s health, but they can be made manageable with a few simple steps. The effects of early starts on sleep have been studied, as well as the potential benefits of schools starting later, which can give children more much needed sleep.
In the meantime, it helps to know how you can help your child to adjust to early starts and how to help them get more sleep. Following these steps in this guide should help put you on your way to achieving this goal.