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Back-to-school pediatric sleep news round-up

Posted on July 30th, 2021

We’re fast approaching back-to-school time. Over the summer, kids tend to get more rest even though the days are longer. Mornings move more slowly, there is space for a nap, and there’s no homework to keep kids up late. But as we shift to the school year, sleep can be a big problem again. So what’s new in the world of children, education, and sleep?

The AASM has big plans

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has released a new paper that details their recommendations for improving sleep in America. During the school year, one-third of kids twelve and under and three-quarters of teens don’t get enough sleep at night.

To fix this, the AASM wants all US school start times delayed to 8:30 AM by the year 2030. They’d also like to see more training on sleep issues for medical students. Too many pediatricians have minimal experience with sleep medicine. We need every provider to be ready to talk with parents about sleep.

Can’t get the kids to sleep? Mindfulness might help

A new study found that having mindfulness training in school twice a week caused children to increase their sleep time by 74 minutes a night, with an extra 24 minutes of REM. This is huge because good sleep means better learning and better emotional control.

Students who didn’t get the training lost nearly an hour of sleep over the same period. That means that mindfulness gave kids two hours of extra sleep over the baseline. The training focused on relaxation and breathing exercises and helped increase sleep by…

  • Improving breathing
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Giving kids tools to unwind and fall asleep more quickly or to fall back asleep if they wake up.

Dr. Meghna Dassani has practiced dentistry for over two decades and is passionate about the role dentists play in whole-body health. You can learn more at her website: MeghnaDassani.com.

 

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