Today: Getting Your Kids’ Sleep Back On Track
Al Roker and Willie Geist tackled the subject of getting back on a sleep schedule when the kids return to school. They sat down with Dr. Carol Ash, director of sleep medicine at Meridian Health to talk about getting your family’s bedtime back on track.
Al Roker asked why it was important, not only for adults, but more so for kids to get sleep back on schedule after the summer break. Dr. Ash explained that academic performance is important and sleep loss can affect that. She said kids are more sensitive to sleep loss because they have different physiology. She explained that it’s not as simple as having your kids go to bed earlier, because it’s harder for them to do so. She said they have a slower response to normal sleep cues.
Today Show: How Many Hours Should Kids Sleep Per Night?
Willie asked if she had a number for how many hours of sleep a kid needs at night. She answered that the range is 9-10 hours, which is more than what adults need. She said the amount of sleep a kid needs depends on genetics and the amount of sleep that they were getting prior.
Today conducted an online poll asking viewers to share how many hours of sleep their children get at night. The answers varied, with 37% saying 8-9 hours, 37% saying 9-10 hours, 24% answering 10-11 hours and just 2% saying 12 or more hours.
Dr. Ash said those numbers reflect that 60% of kids are not getting enough sleep. So how do you adjust their sleep times?
Today: Tips For Better Sleep
Dr. Ash suggested adjusting your kids’ sleep time by 15 minutes per night in order to get them to where you want them to be. She also said you want your kids to wind down and a simple technique you can use is a breathing technique called 4, 7, 8. She explained that you inhale for four seconds, exhale for eight seconds, and hold it in the middle for a count of 7. She also suggested using a fun technique at night for your kids to use that will get them excited about going to bed.
She said you can go and get glow in the dark paint so they have a secret message they only see when they go to bed.