Between masks, hand sanitizer and staggered starts, this school year will look unlike any other. While parents can't control what happens inside the classroom, they can do a few things to make this year their child's healthiest yet. Laurel Gregory went to the experts to find out how
Get to sleep
Dr. Lisa Medalie, a behavioural sleep medicine specialist, says quality sleep is essential.
“Sleep matters more than ever right now because of the relationship between sleep and the immune system. When we are sleep deprived, our immune system is not functioning at its optimal way, so we really need to make sleep a priority given that we are in the midst of a pandemic,” Medalie said.
Medalie says quality sleep is also important because it affects children’s ability to regulate mood and focus. With spring and summer bringing late bedtimes and sleeping in, she recommends parents get their children on a school sleep schedule as soon as possible. That begins with a healthy bedtime routine.
“That hour before bed really needs to be the time that you have a relaxing pre-sleep ritual. So, a hot bath, soft music, light reading before closing eyes is going to optimize the probability that kids will more rapidly fall asleep, thereby increasing that total sleep time making for the most productive next day.”