Letters: Sleep Friendly Bedrooms

In February of 2018, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommended that children aged 6–12 years old should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per day and teenagers aged 13–18 years old should sleep 8–10 hours per day. Students who get enough sleep may have fewer attention and behavior problems.

With technology, traffic, social lifestyles, and other activities going on getting enough sleep can be a problem.  When speaking to middle and high school students in the morning as they enter the school, some students say they went to bed between 11:00 pm – 1 am.  If your child is one of them, then they are not getting enough sleep. Is the environment you are providing at home encouraging sleep?

The National Sleep Foundation has 6 easy ways to make sure your bedroom is designed for your child to get the rest they need.

  1. Dimming the lights about an hour before bedtime helps regulate your body and tells your brain its time to shift into sleep mode. At home use room darkening shades and curtains to keep it dark at night and while you sleep. Some bedrooms don’t have lamps in them and only ceiling lights.  You may want to consider getting a lamp to encourage sleep. An overhead light is bright and does not support the mood of sleep.
  2. Your room should make you feel relaxed and comfortable so choose wall colors and decorations that you love. It’s also helpful to keep your room clean and uncluttered and to make your own bed every morning.  Remember you should be working on responsibility so it’s your job to take care of your own room.
  3. A cool room, typically between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius, makes for good sleep.  Experiment with different temperatures to find your comfort temperature.
  4. Choose, mattresses, pillows, and sheets that are comfortable for you. Soft or firm quality is up to you.  Just make sure it supports body structure comfortably. Make sure you decide based on personal preference and your typical sleeping position.
  5. Reduce noises inside your room and outside of your house with a sound reducer, a fan, or soft music that creates a soothing backdrop throughout the night. Keep the TV, computer, and any other distracting illuminating light off as changing tones and volumes can interrupt sleep.
  6. Surround yourself with scents you like.  For example, lavender may decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.  Soothing scents like this can improve your mood and help you relax for bed.

Parents, we know that sometimes children decide to stay awake on their own, but this is another way to get the message to them on what’s important and why.  Changing their bedroom layout can be a fun way to spend time with your child and he/she doesn’t have to know why. Getting enough rest is important to learning so let’s encourage our children to make better decisions at night so they don’t come to school looking like Zombies in the morning.  We need all students energized from 7:30 to 3:00 pm daily. And remember, if all else fails you can always say…. “Because I said So” (Ha Ha Ha)

— Dr. Jerome Banks, Director Learning

KPIS International School, Bangkok