It's that time a year again! Back to school season is upon us, if it hasn't already arrived yet. You know what other season is also arriving... unfortunately, cold season. With so many children around each other in confined spaces, the germs really run wild. Not only do you feel terrible when your child is sick, but there is a chance the child can get behind in school and, of course, you miss out on work while you keep them home to get well. This can leave all parties frustrated.
This year, try and be proactive and prepare your children and teenagers to fight the nasty germs so hopefully, they don't get sick or at least lessen the days they are sick. So while you're stocking up on all the back to school goods like folders, pencils, erasers, backpacks, make sure to grab your children's vitamins as well.
Check out these tips and tricks to help have the best and healthiest school year!
Getting Enough Sleep
I know I know. Sounds too simple, doesn't it. But it's true. Getting enough sleep is vital at every age, especially with children and teens. Sleep is very important in health and overall well-being and we think it's one of the most important and simplest things you can do for your children this year to keep them healthy, as well as have the best school year possible.
The way you feel while you're awake depends greatly on how much quality sleep you get. While you sleep your body is working to help support healthy brain function and maintain physical health. Also, in children and teens, sleep supports growth and development. An ongoing sleep deficiency can put you at risk for some chronic health issues, as well as, how well you think, react, work, learn and get along with others.
Here are the specifics...
Brain Function and Emotional Health Involving Sleep
Basically, sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Studies have shown that a good night's sleep helps improve learning. Whether it's learning math, how to play the piano, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills, as well as, it helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative. All this is incredibly important for school-aged children and teens.
Sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain, which may cause trouble in making decisions, solving problems, controlling emotions and behavior, plus coping with change. Children and teens who are sleep deficient can have problems getting along with others because it can cause them to feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. Lack of sleep can also cause children and teens to have problems paying attention, which may lead to getting lower grades and feeling stressed.
Sleep and Physical Health
A sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity in all age groups. This is because sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.
Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a very vital role in puberty.
One of the most important things to pay attention to at back to school time is your immune system and your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Starting school again and being around so many other children in confined places, your child is, unfortunately, destined to come in contact with many germs that can cause them to become sick. So it's important to keep their immune system strong to fight off any potential sickness. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.
Sleep and Performance
Getting enough quality sleep at the right times will help your child or teen function well throughout the day. Children who are sleep deficient are less productive school. It can take them longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. After several nights of losing sleep—even as little as 1–2 hours loss per night, the ability to function suffers as if you haven't slept at all for a day or two.
Lack of sleep also may lead to microsleep, which is brief moments of sleep that occur when you're normally awake. This is something that you cannot control and probably aren't even aware of. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of your drive? If so, you may have experienced microsleep. Microsleep can affect how your child functions at school, like missing important information the teacher is saying or even not understanding the point of the curriculum because they "slept" through a part of the lecture.
What To Do If Your Child Isn't Getting Enough Sleep?
If you don't think your child is getting enough sleep, try and set up a specific bedtime routine. Make sure they're comfortable, in bed and lights out by a specific time every night. It will also work better if they stay on this schedule during the weekend, as well, and will help them fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly once they're on scheduled sleep time.
You can also try some of these other suggestions in our "5 Rules for Deeper Sleep" article. They're not only great suggestions for adults but children as well.
If your child is still having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, essential oils are great to try or it might be time to try a sleep aid.
Melatonin is great for children and teenagers because it's a natural sleep aid. You can discuss with your child's doctor what dosage they would specifically need, but it's best to start out on a very low dose. We also know here at Mauricettes, that it can be difficult to get children to take their vitamins, so we made ours the tastiest we could possibly make it. We have our AMAZING tastingStrawberry Melatonin Gummiesthat are 2.5mg of per gummy. They taste so good, your child will think it's a sweet treat instead of a supplement that will help them sleep. We also have ourChewable Melatonin Tablets. They are unflavored but have a slightly sweet taste with no chalkiness like other unflavored chewable and 3mg per tablet.
Other Supplements For Back to School
Omega- 3 supplements are great for children during back to school time as well. They also help improve immunity, while also enhancing focus and attention. Omega-3 are called the "brain boosting" supplement and can really help children with poor concentration, mood and/or behavioral issues.
Vitamin D is one of the most talked-about vitamins because it can help protect individuals from the common cold and respiratory tract infections. It is one of the best supplements to trigger the immune system to fight off infection. During the summer, children tend to get more vitamin D naturally from sun exposure, since they're usually outside playing more. When school starts, children spend most of their day indoors, plus the days grow shorter as winter is approaching, so supplemental vitamin D is usually a good idea around this time. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that daily supplements of vitamin D3 reduced the incidence of seasonal flu in schoolchildren by more than 40 percent. As we know, chewables are easiest for children to take and Mauricettes has a tasty Cherry Flavored Vitamin D3 with K2 Chewable that no child should mind taking.
IMPORTANT- With Children Always Consult Their Doctor Before Supplementation
Before you decide to give your child a supplement, contact your doctor. Some vitamins can interact with medications and cause side effects. It’s also important that your child’s diet is reviewed by a doctor. Vitamin overdose is possible and can cause illness.