EL PASO, Texas - As summer winds down, children and teens heading back to school have to adjust their sleep routines. Many are used late nights and later morning wake up calls.
Dr. Gonzalo Diaz, medical director of the The El Paso Sleep Center, said sleep is just as vital as the air you breathe or the water and food you consume. In children and teens, even more important.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following amount of hours of sleep:
- Preschoolers (3-5 years old) 10-13 hours
- School-aged children (6-13 years old) 9-11 hours
- Teens (14-17 years old) 8-10 hours
Dr. Diaz said this time of year may be the hardest for your children to develop a new sleeping pattern because during summer vacation habits change and they develop Delaed Sleep Phase Syndrome.
If sleeps patterns don't change when school begins, the effects can be harmful said Diaz.
Diaz said the lack of sleep will affect how kids perform in the classroom, lack of concentration may cause grades to slip and in some cases there is a higher risk of drug use.
"It's extrememly important for parents to pay attention to their kids and how much they sleep because cause they can do a lot better in school, if they sleep enough," Diaz said.
Diaz added there is a higher chance of weight gain and depression when there is a lack of sleep.
"We recommend when it's time to go back to school try to change their schedules," Diaz said.