Subscribe to Out & About Photoblogs VideoAP E-Edition Special Publications Prep Zone Lowcountry Marketplace
 Printer friendly version |   E-mail to a friend  | 

If You Snooze in School, You Lose, Karen Rollins, Coordinator
Published Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:12 AM
Provided By Roper St. Francis

Photo by: Roper

RRT, RPSGT, Coordinator

Roper St. Francis Sleep Lab

Do you rely on that second or third cup of coffee to make it through the day? Try being a young, growing student with the same problem. Daytime fatigue is often a result of a poor night’s sleep.

Three-quarters of adults report having at least one ongoing issue with sleep during the year, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Imagine a child that has the same problem. Being so tired that he or she can’t function at a normal level is dangerous. With school around the corner bringing another change to the daily routine, the sleep patterns established over the summer can be hard to break. 

It’s astounding to hear from the NSF that 69 percent of children aged 10 and under experience some type of sleep problem. Most parents don’t know that kids aged 5-12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Less than 10 hours of sleep can impair academic performance placing a child at risk for falling behind in school as well as increase the risk for physical injuries and obesity. 

So how do you handle the shift in routine and sleep schedule? Other than the obvious – limiting caffeine and sugar intake, you can:

• Be consistent. Pick a bedtime and stick to it daily. Eventually a child will get into the rhythm and become sleepy at the same time each day. This goes for mornings, too. Make sure the child gets up at the same time everyday to establish a sleep/wake routine.

• Avoid gadgets and gizmos. Most children – even young ones – have some sort of electronic device in their rooms. Turn off iPods, gaming devices, cell phones and TVs. Some sleep specialists recommend that TVs not even be placed in bedrooms. The forced quiet and lack of electricity in the room will create a calming environment. 

• Create a dark room. The absence of light is the best environment to trigger the body’s natural sleep mechanisms. If your child needs a nightlight, find one that gives a calming glow. Choose a blue or soft white bulb. Keep in mind that reducing exposure to light increases melatonin levels, which is an important hormone that aids sleep. 

• Send them to their rooms. Don’t allow your children to sleep anywhere other than their sleep space. Shifting sleep locations, such as to the couch, your bed, or an armchair can disrupt the sleep pattern of even a heavy sleeper. 

• Establish a ritual. Find something fun or special to share with your child at bedtime. Reading a book or making up a story together are fun rituals that can help the child transition from being active to preparing for sleep. Not to mention it gives them something to look forward to.


While summer is the perfect time for a more carefree and fun schedule, we advise parents to start a consistent bedtime ritual 7 – 10 days before school starts so that the child is already in a good sleep/wake routine and ready for the new school year. Because if you snooze in school, you lose. 

Sponsored by:

Roper St. Francis Healthcare

*Note: Any medical or other information accessible through Ounce of Prevention is provided solely by Roper St. Francis, and has not been edited by Summerville Communications, Inc., the Summerville Journal Scene, the The Gazette, or the Berkeley Independent for content or accuracy.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website.

Users can now build user-to-user connections, follow friends' recent posts, add an avatar that fits their personality, and more. If you have posted here before you'll need to sign up again, or if you've never posted before, start now by reading our terms and conditions, and then signing up below!

Full terms and conditions can be read here.



  • Most Viewed
  • Most Commented

  About Us | Trident Health Check |  Berkeley Independent |  Summerville Journal Scene |  Worship Directory | Destination Downtown | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
104 East Doty Avenue | Summerville, SC 29483 | 843-572-0511 office