School year 2018-2019 has started - do you know how well, or how much, your student is sleeping?
Sleep is one of the most underrated and most vital aspect of performance. It affects both academics and sports, but also emotional regulation and impulsivity. Right now, we're all struggling with changing over from late mornings and even later nights to the earlier school wake-up and later homework schedule. If your student is having a hard time adjusting their body clock back, here are two things to consider.
The first is sleep schedule changes are slow. As in, 10 minutes every-other-night slow. If you're off schedule by a lot, re-aligning sleep patterns can take up to a month. The good news, though, is it's not particularly painful to crash at the usual time and wake up 10 minutes earlier for a couple of days; that's really all it takes. There is some fine print here, however. If your student is not sleeping in a very dark room, it's time to try that out. Light-blocking blinds are available at IKEA and Amazon, or Lowe's, Home Depot and many other places. And when your alarm goes off 10 minutes earlier, let the light in! You're re-setting the circadian clock here, and light primes it.
The second is how much screen time s/he has after 6pm. Blue light acts on us like caffeine: it's energizing and stimulating, and the last thing any of us need for a good night's sleep. Most Apple products now have Night Shift, as does Android. You can also make like Bono, and wear yellow-lensed glasses when checking your devices after 6pm.