It’s back-to-school time. If you want this to be a great year for your children, don’t just focus on the THREE Rs. There’s a fourth R that’s as important as reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. It’s REST. According to a study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine that we found in Science Daily, if you want your kids to do well in school, catching “Zs” is as important as studying for exams. In fact, Dr. William Kohler of the Florida Sleep Institute believes that a good night’s rest and good grades go hand in hand. In his studies, students who slept between nine and 10 hours a night got better grades, had more friends, and retained more information than kids who didn’t. Here’s how to get your kids the right amount of sleep:

  • Don’t try to make the adjustment all at once. Advance bedtime by half an hour a night until your children are getting all the rest they need.
  • Don’t let your kids sleep in on weekends. In one study, teenagers who slept late on Saturday and Sunday had lower grades and test scores than those who maintained a regular sleep schedule.Why? The difference between getting up at 7 and getting up at 10 upsets the body’s clock as badly as a cross-country flight. Sleeping late means there’s a new adjustment to be made every week.
  • Don’t let them stay up to “cram” for exams. A recent survey found that 80% of students are sleep-deprived and even though those all-night cram-fests may seem like the only option when finals roll around, getting a full dose of sleep is actually a better way to ace your exams. Why? Because sleep is crucial to "declarative" memory. That's the kind that helps us remember hard factual information, like when World War One began. Of course studying is crucial, but sleeping after you've cracked the books is just as important.