September 5, 2013 8:36 pm
As kids transition from summer vacations, picnics and barbecues, to homework, sports and after-school activities, they're faced with plenty of new challenges to conquer … one of which may be lack of sleep.
While it varies from child to child, experts say school-aged children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep per night, depending on their age. But research suggests that more than 2/3 of children suffer from some kind of sleep issue, which can lead to drowsiness, obesity, inability to focus, substandard academic performance, irritability, low self-esteem and more.
"Back-to-school time can be an exciting time for kids," says Brenda Dillon, VP of Merchandising. "Unfortunately, with earlier mornings and piles of homework, as well as new activities and social demands, it can also lead to less down time and more disruptions to their sleep. But just a few simple changes to their bedroom environment can help give them the sleep they need to face the day, refreshed and ready to go."
Here are six simple back-to-school tips from Ashley Furniture HomeStore to help make their bedrooms more sleep-friendly:
- Nix the light. Too much light can wreak havoc on a good night's sleep. Be sure to keep your child's bedroom as dark as possible by adjusting the blinds or curtains, turning off the TV, nightlight, illuminated alarm clock or any other disruptive light source.
- Help them keep their cool. Did you know that the ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit? Set the thermostat accordingly to give them a better night's rest.
- Let in some fresh air. Oftentimes, unpleasant odors can impact your child's level of sleep. Allowing fresh air into their room each day can help get rid of bad odors, as can choosing aromas that tend to relax (e.g. lavender, chamomile, rose).
- Create a bedroom that's uniquely "them." A bedroom should be a comfortable, clean, inviting place that reflects your child's personality and taste. Help them keep their rooms neat and orderly with creative storage solutions, including kids' storage beds, cubes, or dressers. And be sure they have some freedom to choose the bedding, décor or accessories that reflect their own style.
- Say "no" to TV in the bedroom. Reserving this space for sleep alone will lead to a more restful environment and better night's sleep for your kids.
- Be sure they have a good mattress. Nothing wreaks havoc on a good night's sleep like an uncomfortable bed. If you can't afford a new mattress for your child, consider investing in a gel or memory-foam mattress topper, as well as new sheets with a good thread count. Pillows should be replaced every year.