Next week is the most anticipated time of the year; the pee-wees return to campus nagging about early rise times for that 7:45 AM lab, chatting loudly in the hallway next to the lab, and with no apple for the teacher(s).
Today, the National Sleep Foundation published a list of “Back To School” sleep tips that should already be incorporated into our daily schedules, particularly those of the early-rising naggers with no apple for the teacher.
- Gradually adjust to earlier sleep and wake schedules 10 days to two weeks before school begins. This will set biological clocks to the new schedule. OOPS! Does this mean I can delay teaching for 2 weeks. My students need to entrain in order to have superior lab reports and grades, and consequently, to give the T.A. an outstanding recommendation : )
- Keep a regular sleep schedule, and avoid extremes on weekends. Having a regular bedtime increases the likelihood that kids – including teens – will get optimal sleep.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Reading before bed is a good choice for kids of all ages and for parents. That’s right, students, you better be reading that lab manual every night.
- Create a sleep environment that is cool, quiet, dimly lit and comfortable.
- Keep television, video games and other electronics out of the bedroom. National Sleep Foundation’s 2006 Sleep in America poll revealed that having electronic devices in the bedroom is associated with an increased risk of falling asleep in class and while doing homework. Eliminate exposure to electronic media (television, video and computer games etc.) within an hour of bedtime.
- Limit caffeine, especially after lunchtime. I break this rule every day. It’s a manifestation of once living in New England.
- Eat well and exercise.