The Sealy mattress brand partnered with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine’s Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science Department on a sleep study that surveyed 1,000 parents with children ages 5-17. Survey topics included sleep quality, sleep schedules and tactics to adjust to new routines. Findings from the research are illustrated in the infographic below.
According to parents surveyed, the top three factors impacting their children’s sleep quality are the number of hours slept, the ability to sleep straight through the night and the quality of the mattress.
More than two thirds (68%) of parents surveyed said adjusting sleep schedules so children go to bed early and wake up early at the start of the school year is a major challenge.
“As summer winds down, families across the nation are looking for ways to ease their children back into their school schedule,” said Jay Spenchian, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Tempur Sealy International Inc., with headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. “Through our survey findings and partnership with UNC School of Medicine’s Sleep Science Program we know the importance of equipping families with the right tips and tools to ensure that children are rested and ready to excel in the classroom.”
Sealy and UNC offer these seven tips to help families transition from those last few moments of summertime fun to a productive, cohesive family sleep schedule:
- Bedtime shift – Starting a week or two before school begins, determine the number of hours your child’s bedtime must shift, and gradually advance the bedtime and wake time to the appropriate time (by no more than 30 minutes per day).
- Night owls no more – The recommended number of hours of sleep differs for each age group. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school age (5-10 years) should get 10-11 hours and teens (11-17 years) should get 8.5-9.5 hours.
- Boycott late-night electronics – Turning off electronics in the evening two to three hours before bedtime is a good rule of thumb. Any type of electronic device that emits blue light or revs up brain activity counteracts the body’s natural transition to sleep.
- The mattress matters – To help ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, invest in a mattress that is engineered to fully support the back and align the body.
- Don’t allow your child to sleep in – Keep wake times consistent across both school days and weekends.
- The breakfast benefit – Make breakfast a priority and serve it at a consistent time each morning. Not only will kids be energized for the day, a nutritious start helps them learn more effectively.
- Take your cue – There are external cues that help synchronize our sleep/wake rhythm. The sun is by far the most powerful environmental cue, which can be used to help us orient to our desired routine. Have your child get sunshine in the morning soon after waking.