Celebrate National Sleep Awareness Month

Did you know March is National Sleep Awareness Month? Continue reading for helpful tips and insights from High School Counselor Latricia Watkins on how you can start prioritizing your sleep this month.
By Latricia Watkins, HS Counselor

Spring Break has come and gone, and I hope it was exactly what your family needed it to be. During March, our clocks have moved forward an hour, the sun is setting later, and spring has begun (even though the weather in Nashville feels otherwise).

As we journey towards the fourth quarter of the year, it seems the pace has not slowed down at all at 2000 Edgehill. March is recognized as National Sleep Awareness Month by the American School Counseling Association. As a result, I'm sharing a few resources with families focused on sleep awareness.

Quite a few of my recent conversations with students involved them telling me about the demands of their academic work loads, the after school events they participate in, and how tired they are. Reports of tiredness, feelings of anxiousness, and extreme daytime fatigue have been recurring themes. I'm shocked at some of the responses I receive whenever I ask students how much sleep they average each night. The average answer as of late is 5 to 6.5 hours.

Some people are under the impression that you need less sleep the older you get, but that is not the case. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens ages 13-18 should average 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Harvard's Division of Sleep Medicine highlights that teens who engage in screen time at bedtime are likelier to experience sleep-related impairment. Mindless scrolling before bedtime on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat is not ideal for winding down before bedtime.

If you consume coffee or energy drinks and struggle with getting adequate sleep, now may be the time to look at alternatives to improve sleep patterns. Later bedtimes and delayed wake-up times could also be signs that a student is struggling with getting adequate sleep. Without enough rest, teens are more likely to suffer from the cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects of sleep deprivation that could be detrimental to school performance.

If you or your student is experiencing difficulty developing a nighttime routine that promotes a good night's rest, you are not alone and help is available. I am happy to be a resource to you and your family, please do not hesitate to reach out. For those looking to dive deeper into this subject, I've included resources for you to review with helpful tips in hopes of achieving optimal sleep. 

Resources:
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