Good Life

Health Break | Healthy sleep habits are must-have for back-to-school success

As summer winds down, new pencils, backpacks and the perfect back-to-school outfit replace swimsuits and flip-flops. As you prepare your children for a new school year, it is important to remember that an established nighttime routine is also essential.


For children between the ages of 3 and 5, between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per night are recommended. If your child repeatedly awakens during the night, poor sleep habits may be to blame. Nighttime fears and nightmares are part of normal development and are common for this age group. Sleepwalking and sleep terrors also peak during this age group.

School-aged children

For children between the ages of 6 and 12, between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night are recommended. As school obligations and sporting activities become more regular, not getting enough sleep is common for this age group. Sleepwalking, sleep terrors, teeth grinding, nighttime fears, snoring and noisy breathing also are common in school-aged children. If your child shows signs of irritable mood, hyperactive behavior, or poor attention and memory function, sleep deprivation may be the culprit.

The Mount Nittany Health sleep management program offers diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders that specifically affect children. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist, call 231-7277.

Similarly, Mount Nittany Physician Group pediatrics offers 13 providers in Bellefonte and Boalsburg, and walk-in services are available from 8 to 11 a.m. weekdays in the Boalsburg location to keep your children healthy. For more information, visit