Seven-year-old Fiona Todd is a bundle of energy. So is her soccer-playing brother, Carson.
But their mom, Roseann, makes sure they slow down in the evening and get a good night's
sleep. If they don't, mornings are a challenge. "Nothing is running smoothly, they're agitated, they're tired, they're cranky. Then they start acting up together. It's just not a smooth morning," she said.
A new study published in the Journal Pediatrics backs her up. It shows that more sleep leads to a better day at school.
"For children who had just 27 minutes more sleep for 5 consecutive nights there was actually an improvement in their mood and their behavior the next day," said Dr. Alanna Levine, a contributor to Babycenter.com.
Children ages 7 to 11 who slept an hour less each night were less alert and had a harder time handling their emotions and controlling impulsive behavior. The findings present a challenge for today's busy families. How to fit in a full day of school plus activities and homework, and still get enough sleep.
Doctors say for younger children, the goal should be ten to eleven hours of sleep. Parents can help, with a healthy bedtime routine.
"You want to limit things that would be stimulating to a child. This would be TV use in the two hours prior to bed, you want to limit computer time, texting time on the cell phone," Dr. Levine said.
Roseann Todd makes the sleep routine a priority. "Bed is sometimes a struggle but it's my goal because they need sleep," she added.
The extra 'Z's' pay off -- both at home and at school.
Ines Ferre - CBS News
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