With just a few weeks left of summer vacation, Canadian parents are preparing to send their children back to school, but getting them to sleep on time can be a challenge for some.
Experts say summer vacations tend to throw children’s schedules out of whack, disrupt sleep patterns, and make it harder to get back to school.
“I think what we’ve seen this summer is that everyone is losing routine, especially when it comes to sleep,” says Dr. Indra Narang, a sleep doctor at Toronto’s Children’s Hospital.
“And it’s usually not just one child, it’s usually the child and the family that loses all habits.”
Narang said the majority of teenagers are not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep.
“The biggest challenge for that group is getting them back into their normal routines so that they not only get enough sleep but also the quality of sleep to get back to school,” she said in an interview with Global News. Told.
Get your kids into sleep habits
Canadian guidelines recommend Children aged 5 to 13 should get 9 to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, while teenagers aged 14 to 17 should get 8 to 10 hours of nap time each night.
Recent “Sleep Country” SurveyA Léger survey released this week found that 52 percent of Canadian school-age children get eight to nine hours of sleep and 77 percent of parents believe their children are getting enough sleep. Ta.
However, one in four children in Canada is not getting enough sleep. Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and leger research.
Margaret Eaton, national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said she was “concerned about the group that is not doing so well with sleep.”
The survey found that staying up late, using electronic devices and irregular bedtimes were among the top reasons parents cited for their children’s sleep deprivation.
“Parents need to really prioritize sleep and bedtime and make it something their kids look forward to,” says Eaton.
What are the risks of getting less sleep?
According to PHAC, good sleep not only promotes physical health and mental well-being in children, but also improves their quality of life.
Conversely, children who don’t get enough sleep report hyperactivity, stress and worse mental health, the agency said.
According to research Lack of sleep can lead to a wide range of health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and immune dysfunction.
Build better sleep habits and improve sleep quality
Narang warned of “long-term consequences”, saying children who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis are also less likely to reach their full academic potential.
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“Children carry on unhealthy sleep habits into adolescence and into adulthood, after which it is very difficult to break,” she added.
Narang said sleep deprivation is a “public health crisis” that affects children as well as adults in Canada, and that’s why raising awareness is key to addressing the problem.
She stressed that all family members should practice good sleep hygiene habits.
“I think once parents understand the importance of sleep, they are more likely to enforce some of the bedtime rules on their children.”
How to build a sleep routine
Canadian parents surveyed by Léger reported taking a series of steps to help their children sleep better before the start of school.
This includes investing in new pillows, mattresses and bedding, creating environments that encourage sleep, and encouraging children to sleep in their own beds.
Eaton said it’s always a good idea to start enforcing regular bedtime habits a few weeks before schools reopen.
Narang says parents can advance bedtime in 15-minute increments instead of incremental changes.
Recent study suggests Canadians aren’t getting enough sleep
She added that no electronics should be allowed in bedrooms and rooms should be cool and “essentially boring.”
Narang said it’s also important for children to avoid caffeine before bed, have a fixed wake-up time, and not participate in naps.
“Napping during the day affects not only how long you sleep at night, but also the quality of your sleep at night.”
Reading, journaling, and listening to music can help people who have trouble falling asleep.
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