If you have a child starting kindergarten this fall, you’re probably wondering if they’re ready, and how to better prepare them for this new chapter in their lives. We’re here to help with that and tell you that sleep is a huge factor in successfully adapting and performing in kindergarten. Keep on reading to find out what researchers have found out.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is of crucial importance for any human being, but especially for small children. If your kid is well rested, they will be more cooperative and ready to learn. In fact, a study called “Sleep Duration and Kindergarten Adjustment,” which ran over a year with 221 families with kids of the kindergarten age range, found out the big difference sleep can make. They compared the academic results and overall behaviors of the children who had a consistent bedtime routine and bedtime and who had 10+ hours of sleep per night with kids who didn’t. The results have shown that the kids who had better and longer nights of sleep were noticeably more engaged and performed better academically. However, they were also getting a good amount of sleep for months prior to starting kindergarten.
How to Improve a Child’s Sleep
If your child is getting less than ten hours of sleep per night and you would like to change that to help them better adapt to kindergarten and perform well, you can do some small adjustments. One of the things you can do is cap their afternoon nap. If the nap is longer than two hours, try to shorten it by waking up the kid every other day ten minutes early until you make the nap two hours long. If this doesn’t help make them go to bed earlier and easier at night, you can shorten it a bit more. Also, make sure you limit screen time before bed. Come up with a nice and relaxing bedtime routine that you can emulate every single day so it’s easier for your child to unwind and go down for their night’s sleep.