Pediatricians say kids get more hours of quality sleep with virtual school

TULSA, Okla. — -Tulsa pediatricians say children in virtual school are getting more hours of quality sleep.

-Dr. Theresa Horton, a pediatrician with Utica Park Clinic, says she’s noticed several families who have come in and claimed their children are getting a better night of sleep with online learning. Horton says part of that is because students can sleep in an hour later since they don’t have to commute or catch a school bus early in the morning. In addition, she says with fewer after-school activities, more kids are going to sleep early allowing them to get a full night of rest.

-Horton says sleep is important for every age, but is especially important for children while they learn. She says sleep can affect a child’s behavior, growth, and ability to focus. She recommends children get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

-While more students in online learning are catching more hours of sleep, she says there is also a group who may be seeing the impacts of stress and isolation during these unprecedented times. Horton says anxiety can make it difficult for a person to fall asleep. She says relaxation techniques, physical exercise and more sunshine can help.

-Horton says it’s even more important for students learning at home to limit the amount of screen-time in the evenings. Students learning virtually might find themselves in front of a screen more often than usual. She says the blue light from computer or phone screens can decrease the production of Melatonin.

-A natural sleep hormone. She added, “It’s really amazing how good quality sleep affects every aspect of our life and our emotional and physical well-being, So anything that can be done to benefit a good night sleep is helpful.”