Take control of your family’s sleep routines. Commit to taking control of your family’s sleep routines – it’s simpler than you think and prioritizing sleep can prevent all sorts of learning and health issues down the line.

Warning: the information in this post might be scary – but it’s even scarier if you don’t know it, and you can take charge NOW!

Dr. Robert Rosenberg is a medical sleep expert. Please check out his site Answers for Sleep and his book of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day is a must-have for every family health library.

I was listening to my interview with him for the Back-to-School Bedtime Summit and taking notes. Dr. Rosenberg’s interview is loaded with information. You can listen to it – and the other speakers as well as get free gifts – by signing up at this link. (Goes down September 15th.)

The information in this post is super timely. You may already know it but you can’t hear it enough. You’ll want to take one action today to prioritize sleep – not just for back-to-school season, but year round as well.

First, you need to know that if your child’s teacher notices that he or she is drowsy, cranky, has “behavior issues”, attention and concentration issues, is hyperactive, or has the “Jimmy legs”, the first stop is NOT the tutor or the academic support team.

Set up a meeting with the teacher, you, and possibly the school nurse.

Sleep deficit presents as academic and classroom “problems” first. Don’t set your child up for a misdiagnosis.

The great thing about talking to a medical expert such as Dr. Rosenberg is he has all the studies that prove what he’s talking about. One study is that a group of children diagnosed with ADHD had their sleep patterns assessed and adjusted so that they got enough sleep. After 2 years, 50% of those children diagnosed with ADHD were entirely off medication.

And sleep deficit presents itself long-term too. Sleep deficit contributes to obesity, growth retardation, and cognition. One of the several studies Dr. Rosenberg cites in this interview, is one he wrote about in Everyday Health two years ago.

The study showed that kids who do not get adequate sleep by the age of 7 continue to have cognitive and learning issues up to the ages of 11 and 12. It takes 4-5 years for the brain development to play “catch up” if young children don’t get enough sleep. Children in this study had not recovered or caught up in terms of reading and cognition when compared to other children who did get enough sleep in those early years.

It’s the kind of information that could leave you sleepless.

When you prioritize sleep, everything goes right. All the tomorrows are brighter and healthier.

What do you do?

First, take the TV out of your child’s bedroom if you have one in there. Another study cited by
Dr. Rosenberg indicates that children with TVs in the bedroom have more difficulty falling and staying asleep and tend to have metabolic problems.

In other words, if you want your child to be obese, leave a TV in the bedroom.

Second, all blue-light aka electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, kindles, computers, and televisions need to be turned off and not looked at for 90 minutes prior to bedtime.

It seems that blue light shuts down melatonin production almost immediately.

To learn more about melatonin, it’s effect on circadian rhythm, where melatonin is produced in the brain, listen to Dr. Rosenberg’s interview by signing up for the Back-to-School Bedtime Summit before it goes down on September 15th.

Before you do anything else, download this graphic from the National Sleep Foundation which tells you how much sleep each age group needs and set up a bedtime routine that gets your kids and you in bed at least 30 minutes before the minimum amount of sleep.

Download Dr. Roseberg’s interview by filling out the form below.

There are other positive actions we can take to ensure sleep is part of our health. Set a good example when it comes to electronics and screen time. Use a tool like Sleepytime Club’s Bedtime Blueprint that helps schedule your day so you know when to stop caffeine, sugar, and have meals at the same time each day.

Remember: you are in control seat when it comes to your own health and your family’s health.