It’s August and children and parents everywhere are facing a grim reality: back to school season is just around the corner. At this time of year, many parents struggle to get their kids back into a regular sleep routine. To help, we offer these tips to reset your family’s alarm clock before the first school bell rings:
- Start tonight. While child health experts advocate keeping children on the same sleep schedule all year, the reality is that over the summer break many kids get up and go to bed later than usual. It generally takes three weeks to adjust to a new sleep routine, so start now.
- Stay strong. Set regular waking and sleeping times, then stick to them. Most kids and teens need at least 10 hours of sleep a night, so take this into account as you establish your routine.
- Eliminate evening electronics. While you may think that playing games on a phone or tablet is relaxing, it can actually stimulate children and disrupt bedtime routines. Establish a time when electronics must be put away each night and don’t allow them in bedrooms.
- Set a good example. It’s harder for kids to stick to a routine if they see their parents doing otherwise. While you may not want to go to bed at 8 p.m., you can still set a good example by participating in a more low-key nighttime routine and not staying up until all hours.
Now is the time to start settling into a more school-friendly sleep routine. By making it a priority now, it’s more likely that everyone will be well-rested as the school year starts.