Helping Your Student Establish Healthy Sleep Routines for Boarding School

March 6, 2023

For many students, long breaks from school mean staying up late and sleeping in. Transitioning to a regular sleep schedule that involves waking earlier and getting to sleep earlier may present a challenge for these students. 

Teenage brains need about nine hours of sleep each night to function effectively during the day. Although we are resting, our bodies and brains are busy performing many important biological functions when we get a good night's sleep. Communication and reorganization among nerve cells increase, memories are consolidated, hormones and proteins are released, toxins are removed from the brain, cell repair occurs throughout the body, and energy is restored.

All this activity during sleep produces many benefits when awake during the day. These include:

  • Executive functions involving the ability to focus and sustain attention, be flexible, problem-solve, and make decisions are more readily accessible.

  • Access to stored memories is improved.

  • Effective self-regulation of emotions is more likely to occur.

  • Tapping into your creativity is more likely to happen.

  • Performance in sports improves.

Helping your child adopt a schedule for waking up and going to bed at school will help make their transition from home easier. Since resetting your child's biological time clock to the school day schedule may require a week or more, you and your child can help with this transition while still at home. 

Here are some suggestions for a successful home-to-school sleep schedule transition:

  • Share this blog with your child and discuss the benefits of establishing a regular bedtime and waking time that is more consistent with the one they will follow at Forman.

  • Help your child gradually make daily 15-30 minutes shifts closer to Forman's lights out and waking time. 

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine. Limit the use of electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime and engage in a relaxing activity instead. Relaxing activities could include listening to calming music or reading for pleasure. Below are a few websites that offer other suggestions for calming activities your child can do before bedtime:

  • Establish a regular waking routine. Set an alarm and avoid using the snooze button when it goes off. Get out of bed, open the blinds, or leave the room to get some sunlight. Get up, walk around, or do some other physical activity. The more you engage in an active routine involving sunlight exposure and maintaining physical activity, the better.

With these suggestions, your student will be more rested and ready to return to school.  

This blog was written by Jane Benson, Cognition and Learning Teacher.

Want to future-proof your education?

It all starts with an inquiry.