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Parkwest suggests back-to-school sleep routine

Whether your child is entering kindergarten or beginning the last year of high school, a healthy sleep schedule is essential for starting a new year.

As the summer comes to an end, parents and teens should begin planning for the school year by adjusting sleeping habits to prepare for early mornings and long days.

“The average teenager needs nine hours of sleep each night to feel their best and depending on their age, children should get between 9 to twelve hours of sleep every night,” said Ronald Bryan, M.D., a neurologist at Parkwest.

“A balanced sleep routine is just as important as a healthy diet to avoiding irritability and drowsiness, and improving concentration and coordination,” he said.

The adjustment of sleep habits can take several weeks and should be a gradual process consisting of an earlier bedtime each night. With the first day of school for Knox County just around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin a new sleep routine.

Parkwest’s Sleep Lab recommends several ways to make the transition from late summer nights to early school mornings. Following are some helpful tips for children and teens as well:

• Establish a school sleep pattern to be maintained throughout the school year.

• Start a regular bedtime routine consisting of calm, soothing activities as bedtime nears.

• Create a balanced schedule that prioritizes activities and provides enough time for rest.

• Slowly eliminate naptime for children and put them to bed an hour earlier.

• Avoid beverages that contain caffeine at night and offer water or milk instead.

Children and teens who do not get enough rest during the night are more likely to fall asleep during class, receive lower grades and perform poorly during sporting events. Some children, when sleep deprived, become overactive and may be incorrectly thought to have attention deficit or hyperactive behavior disorders.

Parkwest Medical Center is a full-service general acute care facility providing state-of-the-art medical services to the residents of West Knox County as well as Anderson, Blount, Loudon, Monroe and Roane counties. Located on Park West Boulevard in West Knoxville.


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