A key part of your preteen’s education exists far outside the classroom. It’s sleep, and it’s critical to his success in school. Why? Because research shows that a lack of sleep can make it tough for kids to focus on learning.

Although everyone is different, kids between 11 and 13 years old need roughly 9.5 hours of sleep per night.

To figure out whether you preteen is getting enough shuteye, ask yourself:
  • Does he fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed?
  • Can he wake up fairly easily in the morning?
  • Is he alert all day—with no reports form school about him dragging in class?
If you answered yes to all these questions, chances are your preteen is getting the right amount of sleep. But if you answered no, it’s time to take action.

To help your preteen get enough sleep:
  • Enforce a regular bedtime.
  • Limit his caffeine intake. Watch for this stimulant in things like cocoa, soda, iced tea and chocolate.
  • Ban before-bed TV watching, and don’t put a set in his room. Studies link watching TV to sleep problems.
Take these crucial sleep-saving steps tonight, and your preteen may arrive at school bright-eyed and ready to learn tomorrow!

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/sleep.htm Source: Kyla Boyse, R.N. “Sleep Problems,” University of Michigan Health System Reprinted with permission from The Parent Institute (c)2008 “Parents Still Make the Difference!” www.parent-institute.com.