SOURCE: Sleepy's

Sleepy's

August 18, 2011 09:43 ET

"Lights Out" Means Electronics On to Nearly 70% of Kids Under 18

Sleepy's Survey Demonstrates Difficulty Parents Have Transitioning Kids Back-to-School and Back-to-Sleep

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 18, 2011) - With summer coming to a close, parents face the ritual of transitioning kids to a back-to-school sleep schedule. A recent survey conducted by Sleepy's shows this task may prove more difficult than in years past, since sixty-six percent of parents report that their kids use at least one of the following devices after bedtime: cell phone, computer, TV or video game system. One in three children under 18 sleeps with their cell phone or iPod on a regular basis.

It is not surprising to find that over half of parents surveyed find it "somewhat" to "very difficult" to move kids from summer to school sleep schedules.

"The 'electronics' deck is stacked against parents," reports Michael Breus, Ph.D., the "Sleep Doctor." "But that doesn't give parents the okay to wave the white flag on bedtime and allow kids to squander sleep."

Children, on average, need 9-11* hours of sleep per night to wake up refreshed and ready for a full day of activity. Currently, according to the survey, only one in three parents report that their children rise "refreshed and awake," which leaves the majority "cranky" or "in a fog."

Interestingly, over half of parents whose kids awake still tired, report that they sleep on mattresses at least 5-10 years old. Dr. Breus recommends never going by your mattress' warranty alone, but says you should listen to your body. "Your body will change every 6-7 years, and if you are consistently waking up stiff and sore, it is time to consider a new bed."

"Kids cannot learn when their bodies don't receive restorative sleep, period," continues Dr. Breus, who recommends the following when transitioning kids to a "back-to-school" sleep schedule.

  • About 2 weeks before school starts, have your child go to bed 15 minutes earlier than they normally do. After three days of this make it 30 minutes, and so on, until they are within 30 minutes of what should be their normal bedtime.
  • Limit or eliminate caffeine intake by about 2:30 p.m. (this includes energy drinks as well). Check the label on some vitamin waters -- they may have caffeine.
  • Even if you cannot get your children to go to bed any earlier (which you really should try) get them waking up closer and closer to their school time wake up time. This will help provide an anchor to their already shifting biological rhythm.
  • Exercising each day will certainly help their sleep, so keep them outside as long as you can (use sunscreen) and in the pool so they will be nice and tired (particularly for younger children). Make the bedroom dark, as in many cases you may be asking them to go to bed before the sun has completely set.
  • Start to have them "unplugged and powered down" an hour before bed. Have them relaxing, reading, and getting back into a bedtime routine.

Parents who found the transition "not at all difficult" offered the following advice: encouraging older kids to do it on their own, and keeping younger children on a year-round schedule.

The best news from the survey? The transition lasts a few days at most, according to 72% of parents, which provides plenty of time to worry about other issues. For more information on getting a good night's rest visit www.sleep.com.

* School-aged Kids (5-12 years): 10-11 hours, Teens (13-19 years): 9-10 hours

About Sleepy's
Sleepy's, The Mattress Professionals®, is a privately-owned 4 generation company with over 700 retail locations in thirteen states, spanning from Vermont to Virginia and available nationally through www.sleepys.com. Throughout Sleepy's 53-year history, they have supported the idea that one mattress does not fit all, carrying a wide selection of mattresses so their customers are certain to find the one that suits them best. Keeping up-to-date on all the latest innovations in sleep technology, Sleepy's, The Mattress Professionals®, carries the latest in Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Beautyrest, Posturepedic, Tempur-Pedic, Sleep To Live mattresses, the Dr. Breus Bed™ and 12 other brands to fit any price range or comfort level. For more information, call 1-800-SLEEPYS (1-800-753-3797), or visit us at www.sleepys.com.

About Dr. Breus
Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He was one of the youngest people to have passed the Board at age 31 and, with a specialty in Sleep Disorders, is one of only 163 psychologists in the world with his credentials and distinction. In addition to his private practice where he treats athletes, celebrities and the like, he also trains other sleep doctors and consults with major airlines, hotel chains, mattress manufacturers and retailers to provide the optimum sleep experience for their customers. Dr. Breus is also the author of the new book, The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep.

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