Helping your students improve their sleep - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Helping your students improve their sleep

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The Ellant family has had a busy summer, so these children have been staying up way past their bedtime.

"You have to go to sleep really early in the school time," said Haley, 9. "If you go really late, you have the opportunity to do something different."

"A little more time to do what I want," said Bram, 11.

But with the start of school just around the corner, pediatricians say it's time to get back on track.

"We know that good sleep hygiene is related to good school work and you are more productive during the day and you can focus better," said Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician.

Children aged 3-5 need 11-13 hours of sleep. Kids 5-10 need 10-11 hours. Teenagers need at least 8.5 hours.

Hes says parents should ease children back into their school day routine now. Get them to bed sooner and wake them earlier.

"One night you go to bed a half an hour earlier, and then 45 minutes earlier," Hes advised.

Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks and big meals before bed. And no electronics like TV and videogames, because they can stimulate young kids.

"Definitely an hour before bedtime we limit electronics," mom Devi Enerio-Ellant said.

Enerio-Ellant says consistency is really important.

"We just try to gradually ease them back into their proper bedtime," she said.

She hopes with enough rest, she'll see smiles on the first day of school.

Doctors say once you get children back on schedule, it's key to stick to the routine, even on the weekends.

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