MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Summer is coming to a close and school is almost back in session. That means no more sleeping in and no more staying up late for the kiddos.
According to doctors, now is the time to get your child back on a routine. Dr. Grace Thomas, a medical officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said getting your children on a routine well before school starts will have them mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming school year.
“To get them back into a routine is important. It’s important to set a specific bedtime and ensure that their electronic devices are not in bed with them," Thomas said.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages six to 13 need nine to 11 hours of sleep per night, and teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night. The National Sleep Foundation also said children who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of experiencing behavioral problems at school, as well as a more difficult time with learning and retaining information.
Thomas said on top of sleep, students should also start eating healthy and exercising at least 30 minutes per day ahead of the upcoming school year.
“I think physical activity is key, and of course, I think that eating healthy goes hand-in-hand with exercise," Thomas said.
“It’s more than just the time period, it’s their eating habits, it’s their sleeping habits and that’s impacting the course of their day," said Elmore County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Dennis.
Dennis said over the years he’s noticed that the students who don’t prepare early “are really sluggish at school as they start the day," and he encourages students to prepare now before it’s too late.