Back to Bed for Back to School

By Annette Liao, DO | Family Medicine PGY-1

Can you believe it? The end of summer is quickly approaching. With fall around the corner, many families are thinking about the school year and how to prepare their kids for the classroom. This could prove to be a bigger challenge this year, as schools reopen their doors for in-person classes after a very different year. Now, after a summer of staying up late and sleeping in, it is time to help kids get back on a normal classroom schedule, and that starts with a good night’s sleep.

Back-to-School Kids Sleep Tips

  • As their brains develop, school-aged children need more sleep than adults to do their best in school and to stay alert during the day. Here is how much sleep kids should have:
    • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) require 10-13 hours of sleep
    • School-age children (ages 6-13) require 9-11 hours of sleep
    • Teenagers (ages 14-17) require 8-10 hours of sleep
  • Start slow – most kids will not be able to suddenly switch from being night owls to morning birds. A slow transition over a few weeks is best. Move bedtime by 15 minutes each day until they are getting the amount of sleep they need.
  • Keep a clock in each child’s bedroom so that they know what time they should go to sleep and what time they should wake up.
  • Avoid using electronics at least 1 hour before bed, and no electronics in bed! The light from the screens on TVs, tablets, and phones tricks our brains into thinking it is daytime and keeps us from a good night’s sleep. It’s good for everyone to turn off screens starting two hours before bedtime.
  • Instead of electronics, establish a relaxing bedtime routine. This could involve reading, stretching, or meditation. Routines will train the body that it is bedtime and can decrease anxiety around bedtime in kids and adults. Make the environment as relaxing as possible.
  • Keep the schedule, even on weekends. Parents and caregivers should all be on the same page with the sleep schedule. Children over the age of 5 should be informed on what that plan is as well.

Having quality sleep is essential for success in school. Not getting enough sleep affects a student’s ability to function, learn, and grow. These tips will not only help to get your kids back on track for school, but also set them up for a lifelong healthy habit! Learn more about other back-to-school tips for a healthy and happy start to the new school year.

4 Nighttime Habits That Will Set You Up For a Better Tomorrow

Most people would benefit from getting more sleep or at least better sleep. Having a productive day starts with the sleep you get the night before. These 4 simple steps will help you get better sleep and promote healthy living by allowing your body and mind to relax before bed.

nighttime habits

At NOAH, we’ll work with you and your family to choose the best path for overall health and wellness. Learn more about our services and see how a NOAH provider can help you get better sleep and support your health and wellness goals.

Sleep Hygiene Tips by Katelyn Millinor, LPC

“Sleep Hygiene is a term used to describe good sleep habits,” says Katelyn Millinor. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of guidelines and tips which are designed to improve sleep. There are many medications which can help sleep disturbance but these tend to be effective in the short-term. Talk to your health care professional about what is right for you but we recommend good sleep hygiene as an important factor in treatment of sleeping difficulties.

Try some of our tips below:

  • Get up at the same time every day. One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even on the weekends). This regular rhythm will help you feel better and help to set your biological clock.
  • Exercise – get moving. Regular exercise is a good idea to help with sleep. Exercise makes it easier to initiate sleep and deepen sleep. Avoid exercising 3-4 hours before bed time. Morning walks are a great way to start the day feeling refreshed.
  • Don’t lay in bed awake. Get up and try again. If you have not been able to fall asleep after about 15-20 minutes, get up and do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy again (in another room if possible). Sit quietly on the couch, read something.
  • Limit light. Avoid turning on overhead lights or lamps. Avoid utilizing screen-time on cell phones, computers, or televisions as blue light from these devices impact sleep.
  • Avoid clock watching. Many people who struggle with sleep often watch the clock too much. Frequently checking the clock can wake you up more and reinforce negative thoughts.
  • Eat Regularly. A healthy, balanced diet will help you to sleep well but timing is important. Do not go to bed hungry as hunger may disturb sleep. A heavy meal before bed may also disturb sleep so a light snack can help. Avoid greasy or heavy foods near bedtime.
  • Bed is for sleeping. Use your bed only for sleeping and sexual activity. This helps condition body and brain. Avoid watching television, eating, or working in bed.
  • No naps. It is best to avoid taking a nap during the day to make sure you are tired at bedtime. If you must take a nap, make sure it is only for 20-60 minutes and is 6-7 hours or more before bedtime (usually no naps after 3:00PM).
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. It is best to avoid these things 4-6 hours before going to bed. These substances act as a stimulant and interfere with the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Avoid excess liquids in the evening. Reducing liquid intake will minimize night-time trips to the bathroom.
  • The right environment. It is important that your bed and bedroom are comfortable for sleeping. A cool, quiet, and dark environment is best. This will reduce the likelihood of waking up later during the night.
  • Bath time. Having a hot shower or bath 1-2 hours before bedtime can be helpful and relaxing.
  • Sleep rituals. Having a routine prior to bedtime can prepare the body and mind for sleep. You can develop your own ritual of things such as stretching, baths, or breathing exercises.
  • Keep daytime routines the same. Even if you had a bad night sleep and are tired it is important to try to keep daytime activities the same. If you avoid planned activities this can reinforce your sleep disturbance.

As always, if you are trying these tips with little or no success, give your provider at call at NOAH and we’ll gladly meet with you to discuss options in achieving a good night’s rest. At NOAH, we’ll work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall health and wellness.

Treating Yourself to a Good Night’s Sleep by Dr. Xiao Kristin Liang, MD Family Medicine Resident, PGY2

What better way to jumpstart your day than with a solid, restful night’s sleep? In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, there is still no substitute for a good old-fashioned snooze, which comes with numerous health benefits. These include improved mood, alertness, work or school performance, and even heart health.

Here are some ways to get the most bang for your buck while you catch those z’s! Also known as “sleep hygiene:”

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea in the afternoon.
  • Have a regular sleep schedule and stick to it, e.g. bedtime at 10 pm and alarm clock set for 6 am.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet room.
  • If you are unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing (see activities below) so that your body does not associate the bed with wakefulness.
  • Do something relaxing before bed such as drinking a warm beverage, reading a book, or meditating.
  • Avoid screen time before sleeping, as the blue light from phones and computers stimulates wakefulness.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it can disrupt your body’s sleep cycle.
  • Regular exercise, ideally in the morning or early afternoon, also improves quality of sleep.

Are you doing all of these things but still having trouble with falling or staying asleep? If so, you may have a sleep disorder. Our doctors at NOAH are happy to work with you to achieve your best sleep, health and wellness. Feel free to call us for an appointment at 480-882-4545.

Safe Sleep SIDS – Video

Watching your beautiful #baby sleeping has got to be one of the best feelings ever. Dr. Amit Jain, Pediatrician offers a few simple steps that you can take that will provide a #SaferSleepingEnvironment for your baby. Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

10 Tips to Get Your Child to Sleep

By Tiffany Jewell

Routine routine routine. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read through our tips below. Trust me, coming from a mom of twins, this has saved my sanity. Read more