Good Night, Sleep Tight! A Stress-Free Guide to Bedtime

How Does Sleep Affect Success at School?

Beyond causing meltdowns, scrimping on sleep can also spell trouble for your child at school. A study of elementary-school students showed that just one hour less of sleep a night can put a child's academic performance and ability to concentrate in class on a par with a student two years younger; other research also has found that even a one-hour deficit in the 3-and-under crowd can have lasting effects, including causing behavioral and cognitive problems when kids start elementary school years later. We asked Dr. Owens describe some ways that a zzz's deficiency can get in the way of preschool success.

  • Attention problems. A child may have difficulty listening to detailed instructions or focusing on planned activities.
  • Inability to verbalize imaginative/creative thoughts. She may go blank when asked to come up with a story or describe a painting she made earlier in the day.
  • Dulled memory. What color was that again? What are the words to the song we just learned?
  • Hyperactive behavior. A child who can't sit still will have a tough time learning.

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