Kids tend to sleep and wake up later during the summer, making the transition to the school-year sleep schedule difficult. As tempting as it is to enjoy sleeping late in the final days of summer break, getting up earlier for school will be much easier if kids begin adjusting their sleep schedules now.
Parents may find themselves unprepared for the sleep challenges that the new school year brings. Many need to wake up earlier in order to pack lunches, drive their kids to school or help them get to the bus stop on time.
Here's some recommendations to help parents and children start the school year strong:
- Gradually adjust to earlier sleep and wake schedules ten days to two weeks before school begins. This will set biological clocks to the new schedule.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule, and avoid extremes on weekends. Having a regular bedtime increases the likelihood that kids – including teens – will get optimal sleep.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Reading before bed is a good choice for kids of all ages and for parents.
- Create a sleep environment that is cool, quiet, dimly lit and comfortable.
- Keep television, video games and other electronics out of the bedroom.
- Limit caffeine, especially after lunchtime.
- Eat well and exercise.
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