HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s time to start setting the alarm clock a little earlier as students get ready to return to school this week, and making sure they get enough sleep can help them in the classroom.

Depending on how old your students are, their sleep needs can differ. From elementary-aged students to teens, it’s recommended they get anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep a day.

Huntsville Hospital Pediatrician, Dr. Kelli Stringer says waiting until the last minute to develop a sleep schedule is a bad option – start early if you can!

In the short term, a lack of sleep can cause children to become hyperactive or inattentive. In the long run, it can lead to obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Stringer says while she understands no day is the same and everyone has things to do, making sure your child gets 9-12 hours of sleep will set them up for success.

“There are other things parents can do to help with that. Make sure your child gets some vigorous physical activity during the day, which most children do during the day at school. You should also limit their schedule – not having them involved in 15 different things that they have to do every week,” Stringer told News 19. 

Dr. Stringer added a great way to help kids sleep is by keeping them away from their electronics.
She recommends cutting screen time at least two hours before bedtime.

For a full list of back-to-school dates, click here.