|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 19, 2002
NHLBI Communications Office
Nine Hours of Sleep Key to “Back to School” Success
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Garfield launch
“How I Get a Heap of Sleep” contest
to help focus kids and parents on importance of adequate sleep
- Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it.
Setting a regular bedtime and wake up time reinforces a child’s biological clock, making it easier to fall asleep quickly and awake feeling fully rested and alert.
- Eliminate distractions in your child’s room.
If there’s a television or computer in the bedroom, establish another place where kids can use them.
- Avoid feeding your child a big meal too close to bedtime.
A heavy meal close to bedtime can keep a child awake at night.
- Avoid sodas and other beverages with caffeine.
Consuming anything with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
- Build in quiet time before bedtime.
Because the days are still long, children may want to go outside to play after dinner. But make sure they come back inside in enough time to allow some time to relax before bedtime.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Is it a bath in the evening, followed by a book? Or the reverse? Try different routines; find out what works best, and stick to it.
- Make sure the room is dark and quiet and the bed is comfortable.
Use a nightlight if your child finds the dark scary.
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
Be sure the bedroom isn’t too hot or too cold, and that pajamas are comfortable and seasonal.
Additional information for parents and teachers as well as fun, interactive games with sleep messages for children are available on the Star Sleeper Web site. Visitors to the site can also check out Star Sleeper gear, including a 48-page Fun Pad filled with games and puzzles and a 14-inch Garfield plush doll, complete with bunny rabbit slippers and Star Sleeper “jammies”.
About the Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign:
In February 2001, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched the Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign to educate America’s children and their parents, educators and health care providers that children ages 7-11 need at least nine hours of sleep each night on a regular basis to do their best at whatever they do. The Campaign is co-sponsored by PAWS, Inc., the corporate entity behind Garfield the Cat. Garfield is the Campaign's official "spokescat”. Other founding partners include the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health.