Question: Is there an easy way to help kids adjust to an earlier bedtime for school? All of us have been staying up until 10 or later. -- Need More Sleep
Answer: It definitely takes some adjustment for children to get back into a good sleeping pattern after a summer of late nights! However, parents -- with some pre-planning and getting started a few weeks before school starts -- will be able to ease their children into a great sleep schedule.
The National Sleep Foundation gave us these tips to help your children ease themselves into their best school-time sleep schedule:
- -About two weeks before school starts, work with your children to return to a school-appropriate sleep schedule. Every night, set an incrementally earlier bedtime, and every morning, an incrementally earlier wake-up time. Make sure that when school starts, they'll wake up with the amount of sleep they need for their age group.
- -Once your child's sleep schedule is established, stick with it! Even on weekends!
- -Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Before bedtime, start a "quiet time" to allow your child to unwind. Include relaxing activities, such as a bath and bedtime stories or reading time with older children.
- -Limit television, video games and other electronic distractions before bedtime.
- -Avoid big meals close to bedtime.
- -Avoid caffeinated products.
- -Maintain a peaceful bedroom environment.
The sooner your children readjust to a school-time sleep schedule, the better they will feel during early morning classes.