In preparation for Back-to-School, Mattress Firm, Inc., the nation’s largest specialty mattress retailer today released expert tips and advice to help parents crate a comfortable sleep environment for children, and get them back into a healthy sleep routine. Getting proper quantity and quality of sleep is essential for proper growth and development, prevention of childhood illnesses and helps children maintain a healthy weight. Sleep is also crucial as a child heads back to school, supporting cognitive function, learning, memory, stress management, and academic and physical performance. Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and Certified Clinical Sleep Educator with more than 20 years of experience in sleep education and consultation is working with Mattress Firm to help raise awareness about the importance of sleep for children. She says that many families don’t prioritize sleep as they should, and that lack of sleep can result in problematic behavior, impaired learning and memory, and a negative mood. A study by sleep researcher Mary Carskadon found that teenagers who get the least sleep earned C’s and D’s, while those who got more sleep earned A’s and B’s 1. “As children head back to school this year, it’s important to make sure that they’ll be getting not only the proper quantity, but the proper quality of sleep,” says Cralle. “As you are buying school supplies and preparing your kids for fall, it’s a great time to examine your child’s bedroom and mattress to be sure that his or her sleep environment is comfortable and relaxing. It’s also a great time to start getting kids back into a consistent sleep routine.” Tips for Choosing a Child’s Bed Choosing the right mattress is an important investment in a child’s health, as they will spend up to 40% of their childhood years asleep. Mattress Firm recommends replacing a child’s mattress every three years between the ages of 0-10 years old, and every five years between the ages of 10-20 to accommodate a child’s growing body and sleep needs.