Student Services Newsletter
Wilson Area School District - Winter 2023-2024
Why Sleep Matters!
While it's normal for children's sleep schedules to flex over school breaks, it's important to ensure your child is still getting the sleep they need at night.
Children need more sleep than adults — how much more depends on their age. The average nighttime sleep needed for a school age child is 10 hours.
Why children’s sleep schedules matter
“Sleep affects every aspect of a child’s well-being,” explains Jodi Mindell, PhD, Associate Director of the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She details the key ways in which sleep shortages are harmful to children.
Children who don’t get enough sleep are cranky and irritable. They have less control of their emotions. What parents take for adolescent moodiness is often due to lack of sleep, and can disappear with healthier sleep habits.
Young children with sleep shortages can be overactive and disobedient. They can become withdrawn and depressed. Sleep-deprived teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors –which may especially be a concern given the impact of the pandemic on many teens’ mental and emotional health..
Children’s attention, concentration, memory, problem-solving and decision-making skills all decrease with lack of sufficient sleep. “A child’s primary job is to do well in school and continue learning,” says Mindell. Even in summertime, children are learning every day, just in a different way than during the school year. As parents, we do them a disservice if we don’t hold them to healthy sleep schedules. For teens, a lack of sleep can have a profound effect on their decision-making skills and willingness to participate in unsafe activities.
Studies show an association between insufficient sleep and obesity. Poor sleep is also linked with the likelihood of developing diabetes and, over a longer term, with heart problems. On the contrary, studies in adults find an association between sleep and immune response.
How to bring children’s sleep schedules into a healthy routine
“Parents can’t rely on children to adopt a healthy sleep routine,” says Mindell. “They need to provide the conditions to make that happen."
- Make sleep a priority.
- Create a bedroom environment that is conducive to sleep. It should be cool, dark and quiet, with no electronics.
- Establish and follow a bedtime routine: for both young children and teenagers. That involves a wind-down period with quiet, calming activities, like a bath/shower or reading. Then, make a consistent, clear time when its lights out.
- Avoid caffeine. Sodas are an obvious source, but teenagers can develop a habit of drinking iced tea in the summer. Cut out all caffeine for your children in the afternoon and evening to aid positive sleep habits.
- Get out into daylight. Light exposure, especially in the morning, helps set the internal body clock and improve sleep at night.
- Manage worry. If your child experiences worry, find time during the day to have discussions instead of allowing those thoughts and feelings to peak at bedtime and during the night.
Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, is a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, as well as the associate director of the Sleep Center at CHOP.
Contributed by: Jodi A. Mindell, PhD
Contributed by: Jodi A. Mindell, PhD
Valley Youth House Counseling Program
We are exited to partner with Valley Youth House to provide a group counseling program for students at WBES, WAIS, and WAHS at no cost to you! CBITS and Bounce Back are evidence based programs that consist of 10 curriculum based sessions that are designed to be implemented in small groups. These sessions aim to relieve student symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic symptoms among students who have been exposed to trauma. There is also evidence that supports improved functioning in grades, attendance and coping skills amongst students that have participated.
For more information on the program or to sign your child up, please contact your child's school counselor.
LINCS Community Coalition Mixer Events
The Wilson Area Communities That Care Coalition would like to invite district
families to learn a little more about our goal of encouraging healthy behaviors in
our young people.
Join us for a free dinner and get to know your neighbors!
Thursday, January 11, 2024
6:00 to 7:30 P.M.
Wilson Area Intermediate School All Purpose Room
2400 Firmstone Street, Easton
(Dinner is free and kid-friendly options will be available but we need everyone to
register in order to know how much food to order.)
We hope to see you there!
To register, contact LINCS@wilsonareasd.org with questions.
Learn more about our coalition by visiting https://www.facebook.com/WilsonAreaCTC
LINCS Family Center
Dedicated to offering all Wilson area residents a confidential contact for accessing a variety of support through programs and services. Our mission is to provide a compassionate and sensitive community resource that will empower Wilson area families by linking them to direct, comprehensive programs addressing social, emotional and physical well-being, educational assistance, and resources needed to raise healthy children and enhance all residents’ quality of life.
Important WASD Student Services Upcoming Dates
- 1/3 Winter Keystone Testing
- 1/17 End of Marking Period 2
- 1/23 Substitute Teacher Training- Become a sub teacher in the District!
** all school events can be viewed on the District Website calendar by clicking the district website button below**