The school year is new, and your children are likely still adjusting to the change in their schedule. Pencils, papers, clothing and shoes are ALL important but getting children set for school also includes changing their sleep habits.
During the summer, with those long sun-filled hours, your family may have been able to stay up late and count on a nap the next day. Making a sudden switch to an earlier bedtime could be very challenging! Here are some helpful hints:
Start now! Start having your child go to bed earlier along with getting up earlier in the morning. Use sunshine to help reset their internal clock, by opening the curtains in their room. Have your child eat breakfast in a sunny bright spot in the house. Children need between 9-12 hours of sleep a night to feel rested and ready to learn. Routines are important, so even on the weekend, do not let your child sleep in more than an hour later than usual.
Exercise! Children rest better at night if they have had some physical activity during the day. Have your child stop vigorous activity 2 hours before bed-time and switch to calm, quiet times.
Slow it down. No scary movies or dramatic music in the last 2 hours before bed. Instead think of soothing routines such as a warm bath/shower, reading, or a small snack. Avoid anything carbonated or with caffeine for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
Comfort is a must. Bed and bedding need to be comfortable, and having the bedroom at a slightly cooler temperature is helpful for a good night’s rest.
American Sleep Apnea Association:
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: