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Establishing healthy sleep schedules for students as they head back to school

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Last year, many sleep schedules were thrown off because of virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, as students head back to the classroom, Roanoke Valley physicians say it’s important these students are well-rested.

Doctors encourage consistency when establishing healthy sleep habits, saying you should try not to change students’ sleep schedules, even on the weekend.

Health experts also suggest creating a calm sleeping environment, which means quiet time and avoiding screens before bed.

Dr. Chris Pierce, Section Chief at Carilion Children’s Pediatric Medicine, says it’s important to have a conversation with your child before limiting their pre-bedtime screen time.

“Make sure they know this isn’t a punishment when it comes to decreasing screen time,” said Dr. Pierce.

In addition, Dr. Pierce says that talking about the healthy ways to use screen time will help lay a good foundation for healthy habits.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), children age five to 12 need nine to 12 hours of sleep while teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep.

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