The first day of school seems to come earlier and earlier every year, making it even more challenging for families to transition from summer sleep patterns to school sleep patterns. According to one local sleep specialist, Dr. George Zaldivar, it’s all about the routine.
“We need routines to go to bed. The routine for a child might be taking a warm bath, brushing their teeth, reading a story, ideally, so the brain knows you’re winding down. You’re progressing to sleep. You cannot go abruptly from a violent XBox game and then go to sleep,” Zaldivar says.
Dr. Zaldivar is a sleep specialist at the sleep study facility at Charleston General. He can discern a lot about a person from monitoring their slumber. He also sees that technology and humans, be they adult or child, are bad bedfellows.
“Ideally, no child should have any electronics in their room at all. It’s not a punishment, it’s for their own good. They can have a separate room for TV, computer or whatever.”
Poor sleep habits can be like a bad cold in a household. They have a tendency of spreading to everyone else.
“Individuals do not really know what good sleep habits are and so they pass it on to their children and everybody and sooner or later you have an entire family who is sleep deprived because of it.”
For more information on how you and your family can better obtain a good night’s sleep, visit sleepfoundation.org