Back-to-School Means Back-to-Sleep: Mattress Firm Provides Tips for Creating a Comfortable Sleep Env
Back-to-School Means Back-to-Sleep: Mattress Firm Provides Tips for Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment; Getting Kids Back to a Healthy Sleep Routine
Healthy Sleep is Essential for Growth, Development, and Academic Performance in Kids
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In preparation for Back-to-School, Mattress Firm, Inc., the nation's largest specialty mattress retailer today released expert tips and advice to help parents crate a comfortable sleep environment for children, and get them back into a healthy sleep routine. Getting proper quantity and quality of sleep is essential for proper growth and development, prevention of childhood illnesses and helps children maintain a healthy weight. Sleep is also crucial as a child heads back to school, supporting cognitive function, learning, memory, stress management, and academic and physical performance.
Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and Certified Clinical Sleep Educator with more than 20 years of experience in sleep education and consultation is working with Mattress Firm to help raise awareness about the importance of sleep for children. She says that many families don't prioritize sleep as they should, and that lack of sleep can result in problematic behavior, impaired learning and memory, and a negative mood. A study by sleep researcher Mary Carskadon found that teenagers who get the least sleep earned C's and D's, while those who got more sleep earned A's and B's1.
"As children head back to school this year, it's important to make sure that they'll be getting not only the proper quantity, but the proper quality of sleep," says Cralle. "As you are buying school supplies and preparing your kids for fall, it's a great time to examine your child's bedroom and mattress to be sure that his or her sleep environment is comfortable and relaxing. It's also a great time to start getting kids back into a consistent sleep routine."
Tips for Choosing a Child's Bed
Choosing the right mattress is an important investment in a child's health, as they will spend up to 40% of their childhood years asleep. Mattress Firm recommends replacing a child's mattress every three years between the ages of 0-10 years old, and every five years between the ages of 10-20 to accommodate a child's growing body and sleep needs.
Cralle say a comfortable sleep surface is critical to getting quality sleep, and suggests involving children in the mattress selection process as a way to highlight the importance of sleep and encourage children to view bedtime as a positive, healthy part of their lives. She suggests the following tips for families to select a new bed:
- Allow your child to test a variety of mattresses in your budget, and aim to test at least five beds
- Have your child lay on each bed for 5-10 minutes
- Remember that smaller, thinner children may prefer a plush feel, while larger children may prefer something firmer
- Consider a mattress your child can grow into instead of limiting your child to twin sized options
- Buy a mattress and box spring as a pair. Box springs are built specifically to support a particular mattress, and without the proper support, mattress materials can break down more quickly
- A low box spring will allow small children to get in and out of bed more easily, lowering the risk of falls
Creating a Healthy Sleep Routine Before School Starts
Good sleep habits are learned through the establishment of a healthy sleep routine. Mattress Firm recommends the following tips to foster a healthy sleep routine:
- Everyone in the family should participate in the back-to-school sleep schedule transition
- Explain to children that the back-to-school sleep schedule is instituted for a very good reason - the importance of sleep in health and performance
- At least 2-3 weeks before school starts, set an earlier bedtime each night and an earlier wake-up time each morning (if time permits, 15 minute increments work for a few days then 30 minute increments for the rest of the days) ; making sure that the times always meet the age-related sleep requirement
- Use an alarm clock for bed time and wake-up time
- To better transition to a school year sleep schedule, emphasize a dark room and quiet activities at night and exposure to activity and bright light in the mornings. This will help your child to fall asleep and wake up easier
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule that accommodates the recommended sleep requirements as much as possible, even on the weekends. Be sure to factor in the time it takes to fall asleep, which can take up to 25 minutes
- Children ages 3 - 11 months of age require 14 - 15 hours of sleep per day
- Children ages 1 - 3 years of age require 12-14 hours of sleep per day
- Children ages 3 - 5 years of age require 11 - 13 hours of sleep per day
- Children ages 5 - 10 years of age require 10 - 11 hours of sleep per day
- Children ages 10 - 17 years of ages require 8.5 - 9.25 hours of sleep per day
- Adults require 7 - 9 hours of sleep per day
About Mattress Firm
Houston-based Mattress Firm (NAS: MFRM) is a high growth specialty retailer, recognized as one of the nation's largest specialty bedding companies, offering a broad selection of both traditional and specialty mattresses, bedding accessories and related products from leading manufacturers. With more than 1000 stores across 28 states, Mattress Firm has the largest geographic footprint in the United States among mattress specialty retailers. Mattress Firm offers customers comfortable store environments, guarantees on price, comfort and service, and highly-trained sales professionals. More information at www.mattressfirm.com
1 Wolfson AR, Carskadon MA. Sleep schedules and daytime functioning in adolescents. Child Dev. 1998;69:875-887.
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