Do you want to do one simple step that packs a powerful punch in your child’s achievement?

Of course you do.

If you could do just one thing to help your child read and write better, you’d do it wouldn’t you?

Is your child getting proper sleep?

Most parents think that their children are getting enough sleep, but are bewildered when their child’s behavior is less than desirable. They are puzzled by their child’s plummeting academic achievement. What’s the epidemic?

Lack of sleep. For real. It’s a little thing. A simple thing that simply needs to be remedied. It’s a little thing that makes a huge difference in improving your child’s state of mind thereby improving their behavior and academic performance.

Sleep deprivation leads to defiant behavior. 

Recently when I had a conference with a parent, they asked me how much sleep was needed for a 6-year-old.  I said, “About 9 hours a night. I really don’t know. Let’s Google it.”

We looked it up together.  The results left the parent with a dropped jaw. In astonishment, he stated, “9-12 hours. Really?  That means I have to put my child to bed at 7:30 PM.” Yep! “What about sports?”

Me: Do you want them to have the proper rest to grow and thrive academically?  Then, they need the sleep to concentrate. I, too, throw tantrums when I haven’t had enough sleep. (Sure, they look different than a child-like meltdown, but they happen. Unfortunately. Just ask my husband.) The world appears more bleak when I’m sleep deprived. When I’m tired, I’m not at my best.  I might respond with a snappy tone of voice. My patience isn’t as polished. It’s the same for our kids.

So what does the American Academy of Pediatrics say is the proper amount of sleep?

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following sleep hours:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity and depression, especially for teens who may experience increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

If you are surprised by those numbers, you are not alone. However, you can make a change today. One way is to establish a bedtime routine. You can use and learn the AAP program, “Brush, Book, Bed.” It’s available here:

No matter the age of your child, it is important to stay consistent with a bedtime routine to ensure proper sleep leading to improved academic performance and overall well-being. (I know that I still need one.) 🙂

Click here to learn more about healthy sleep habits for your child.

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time. 🙂


Do you know a struggling reader? Grab this free e-book for quick, practical tips to help them. Practical Guide to Helping Your Struggling Reader

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