If you’re like a lot of folks around town, you were probably a little bleary-eyed after Tuesday night’s thrilling, marathon World Series win by the Kansas City Royals. But how does staying up late affect our sleep needs, and more importantly the sleep needs of our children? Experts say sleep deprivation is a problem in our classrooms and can even lead to more teenager traffic accidents.
Martye Barnard, PhD, a behavioral psychologist at The University of Kansas Hospital says it is important for parents to establish the ground rules on homework and bedtime, especially during this exciting stretch of Royals games.
Dr. Barnard says first make sure all homework is completed.
Next, Dr. Barnard says set the time for bedtime, making sure the children know what it is. Then she says make the children get into their bed clothes with baths done before sitting to watch the game. And she says older kids should not be going to watch parties with friends on school nights.
Finally, Dr. Barnard advises parents to remember they are in charge and to hold steady on their rules.
So, what is the downside of kids staying up later?
Bob Whitman, PhD, director of the sleep lab at The University of Kansas Hospital says much depends on the age of the child.
Dr. Whitman offers these guidelines:
- Children 3 to 6 need 10 to 12 hours of sleep
- Children 7-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep
- Children 13-18 need 8 to 9 hours sleep
Dr. Whitman says keeping kids up late for the game will affect the students in the classroom.