This is the one question I ask the most when students' grades are starting to go downhill: Are you getting enough sleep? Current research shows that middle school students should get 9 - 12 hours and teenagers should get 8 - 10 hours of sleep each night. This is very important for proper functioning of the brain. Sleep is also when the things we learn are locked into our memory.
Make sure you children are eating healthy meals and getting plenty of sleep. These are the best things you, as a parent, can do to ensure they are performing at their best.
Most Students Need More Sleep
We all know we do better when we're well-rested than when we're not. Modern sleep research has started to uncover exactly why that's the case. In terms of memory, there are at least two important reasons to make sure you're getting enough sleep.
First, we better remember what we learned the day before. This is because sleep plays an essential role in the conversion of short-term memory to long-term memory. Short-term memory relies heavily on a brain region known as the hippocampus (named after the Greek word for seahorse, given its shape), while long-term memory relies on a broad network of cortical association areas. When we learn new information, the hippocampus is very active, and when we sleep, it turns out that the activity of our hippocampus predicts how well we will remember what we learned when we wake up. Researchers have even found interesting ways to manipulate and improve this process. For example, in one study, experimenters paired the scent of a rose with a spatial...
When parents think about the key factors for academic success, they often look at standard pillars of solid education: (1) a collection of good educators, (2) a wealth of solid academic resources, and (3) a diligent routine of practice and study. These components are certainly essential pieces of the puzzle, but they overlook the keystone underpinning that affects every aspect of learning: nutrition.
?Food provides our bodies with necessary nutrients to run smoothly and efficiently. It keeps our immune systems operational, our musculature robust, and our mental faculties sharp. Just like automobiles, our bodies function better when our fuel is of higher quality. If we want optimal performance, we need to be ingesting a steady stream of nutrient rich food. How can we expect our brains to be fully functional when we are feeding them subpar sustenance? ? ?The difficulty for us is that the marketplace is flooded with garbage. At every turn in the grocery store, we are bombarded...