Seven back-to-school sleep tips
For many kids, the summer months mean late nights and even later mornings. When the school year starts again, adjusting back to school-time sleep schedule can be difficult. This can leave some kids struggling to wake up in the morning, stay awake during classes and focus.
Studies show that insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. Roni Socher, MD, offered these seven tips to help your child make a smooth transition back to school:
- Start adjusting your routine before the first day of school. Have your child wake up 15 or 30 minutes earlier each day until they are waking up at the time they will need to on the first day of school.
- If your child is waking up earlier, have them go to bed earlier as well. As you adjust your child’s wake-up time, adjust bedtime accordingly.
- Expose your child to bright sunlight soon after waking up in the morning. This can help your child adjust their sleep schedule.
- Have your child wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Having a variable sleep schedule can cause frequent difficulties adjusting back to a desired wake up time.
- Make sure their sleep environment is conducive to sleep. The bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool.
- Avoid using electronic devices with screens, including television, phones, video games, tablets or computers, for at least one hour before bedtime.
- Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Preschoolers should sleep between 10–13 hours. For children 6–13 years old, the recommended amount of sleep is between 9–11 hours. For teens 14–18 years old, the recommendation is 8–10 hours.
Help your kids have the best chance of success by encouraging healthy sleep habits and consistent sleep,” said Dr. Socher.
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