When you notice that your child’s performance is suffering at school, your first instinct is to assume that his/her lack of attention in the classes being failed stems from a lack of interest or a strong dislike for the teacher (as witnessed with most teenagers). What might fail to cross your mind, however, is that your child might simply be lacking sleep.
Sleep deprivation is no joke, especially in extreme cases where it can even lead to serious permanent damage. However, even in mild cases, lack of sleep still has effects that may seem little but they impact heavily on your child’s performance in school.
We are all familiar with the feeling of sleepiness, the groggy sensation that fuzzes our vision and makes it hard for us to focus on anything other than, well, sleep. In a daycare or preschool environment where the mind is supposed to be at its sharpest, the feelings of tiredness or fatigue only serve to cripple it and stifle any creativity your child may have.
A child with poor sleeping habits will seem more disinterested with what is going on in class. Other than the expected inattentiveness, children who are overly sleepy during the day are more likely to seem hyperactive and even develop attention span disorders. Furthermore, a tired mind can also cause them to develop an unhealthy attitude towards their teachers and fellow students.
Parents may not want to hear this but enforcing bedtimes, as the rules of child care dictate, is one of the best things you can do to enhance your child’s performance in school. Studying is good and all but without a clear, sharp and alert mind to absorb all the knowledge, it is an effort in futility.
In findings backed by extensive research conducted on 75 healthy children, the scientists discovered a direct link between children’s academic performance and sleep efficiency (a measure of how well one sleeps at night). A good night’s sleep is not only based on the duration, the quality also factors in a lot. Children who sleep for shorter periods or have poor sleep patterns tend to get tired faster during the day. Their mental alertness fades faster and they become less and less attentive in class as the day wears by.
Children who enjoy sufficient sleep for the recommended 8 to 11 hours depending on their age exhibit significantly better performances especially in math. This was attributed to the general alertness of their minds, which enabled them to think faster and clearer without the veil of tiredness cloaking their heads.
Granted the duration your child’s resting period is important, the quality of the sleep is vital. Your child may sleep the required amount of time but still exhibit sleepiness and a lack of attention in class. This is simply because he/she has not gotten the right quality of sleep.
Sleep is supposed to be resting and rejuvenating and poor sleep quality is not something that is exactly controllable. It may stem from inherent sleep issues that both the parent and the child might not be aware of.
If your child exhibits extreme difficulty when learning math or any language, taking him/her for a routine checkup might unearth some internal factors that may be the cause for his/her poor sleeping habits. In order to attain optimal levels of concentration, every child and teenager should get sufficient rest every night to ensure that their minds are alert all through the day.
So take a minute and study your child a little if he or she is failing in school. Instead of writing it off as “just a phase”, it might be prudent to enforce healthier sleeping habits. Regardless of the age of your child, it is almost guaranteed that you will see a positive change in their performance, and all of that simply because they have had enough rest.
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