It’s back to school week and – whether you have school-aged children or not – there’s somehow a ‘business as usual’ approach in the air this week.
For many parents, part of getting back to school is about re-establishing a bedtime routine. The relaxed vibe of the long summer holidays sees kids change up their normal bedtime routines, staying up later and some lucky ones even getting to sleep out under the stars…but the party has to end sometime and, for many kids, this week is pumpkin o’clock.
Most parents know that getting their children back into normal bedtime and sleep routines can help their children more easily slip back into the routine of school. But, what fewer realise, is that ensuring a child or teenager gets the most from their sleep also puts them in the best place to learn.
There are numerous studies that evidence the link between sleep and learning. Many of us work on the assumption that sleep is good for learning as it allows our brains to rest and to be restored, refreshed and ready to learn – but the relationship is actually much more meaningful than that.
Sleep plays a vital role in our memory and enables us not only to formulate long term memories (the type of memories needed to retain information) but also to ‘edit’, make sense of the information we’ve taken in and to ‘file’ it efficiently. For more, Wikipedia has a good summary of research in this area at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_and_learning
So, this week as we get back to school and bedtime moves back up the agenda, let’s keep it there.
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