School-Year Sleep & Schedules • Advice From A JRMC Pediatrician

Health & Wellness

Give your kids the best chance at a successful school year by making sure they get enough rest. This means your child should be getting enough sleep and isn’t too overwhelmed with an incredibly busy schedule.

Extracurricular activities are certainly fun and important, but JRMC Pediatrician, Sevilay Dalabih, M.D., created a helpful checklist for keeping your schedule healthy rather than overwhelming.

“After-school activity has to be balanced,” she said. “Structure is good for kids, so if you have routines that they can do every day, that’s good.”

Dr. Dalabih recommends asking these four questions while choosing your child’s extracurricular activities:

• Will my child still have time to do all assigned homework?
• Will my child still be able to get plenty of sleep each night?
• Will my child still have free time to spend with our family?
• Will my child still have free time to hang out with friends?

“If the answer is no to one of these or more, then you’re doing too much,” Dr. Dalabih said. “Kids need some basic structure. After that, if they have time, they can do other things. Give some time to your child to do something for him or herself.”

In addition to keeping a thoughtful schedule, it’s vital for kids to get enough sleep each night. “Kids cannot understand that it’s their sleep that’s the problem,” she said. “But you may see they cannot focus enough during the day. Also, to wake themselves up, they become hyperactive and adopt behavioral issues that affect learning. It affects everything.”

Check out the infographic below for the National Sleep Foundation’s guide to getting enough sleep, for both you and your kids.


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