Monday, August 10, 2009

Parents: Help Kids Go Back to Sleep for School

You have all the school supplies on the list. You have new outfits or uniforms for your child to wear.

(Or you’ve pulled out the clothes that big brother or sister used to wear; they can be “new” again.)

In your head you anticipate all the upcoming changes to your daily schedule. It’s time to go back to school. But are your kids ready to go back to sleep?

Children tend to shift their sleep schedule during the lazy days of summer. They stay up late at night and then sleep late in the morning. So when the first day of school arrives, having to wake up at the crack of dawn can be a shock to the system.

To deal with this problem, sleep experts advise you to help your children begin to adjust their sleep schedule in the days before school starts.

For example your child can start going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier each day. This will be much more effective than if he or she tries to go to bed two hours earlier on the night before the first day of school.

Other tips for parents:

- Dim the lights earlier in the evening; let in sunlight earlier in the morning. The brain uses these lighting cues to help set the internal “body clock” that regulates sleep patterns.

- Begin having meals at the times when your children will eat during the school week. Meals are an important timing cue for the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

- Determine what time your child will need to wake up in the mornings for school; then set a
bedtime that will allow your child to get enough sleep. Teens need about nine hours of sleep each night; younger students need up to 11 hours of nightly sleep.

- Start practicing a regular bedtime routine with your child.

- Keep the
TV and computer out of your child’s bedroom.

Get more tips to
help your child sleep better.

Learn more about helping your child go back to sleep for school on Read more sleep tips for students.

No comments:

Post a Comment