It won’t be long before the kids will be back at school learning their ABC’s. But now is the time to start getting them some more z’s.
Jyoti Krishna, MD, who treats pediatric sleep disorders at Cleveland Clinic, says to use the next couple of weeks getting the kids back on their school sleep schedule.
“Encourage children to start moving their bedtime one hour earlier and the wake-up time one hour earlier until they can be in the ballpark where school sleep and wake schedules can be followed more easily,” Dr. Krishna says.
Dr. Krishna says after a long summer of late nights and sleeping in, consider your children to be jet-lagged heading into the school year. He says to gradually get them back on their school sleep and wake schedule by dialing bedtime back as little as 15 minutes to a half-hour over the next week or 10 days. And Dr. Krishna says this is also the time to start developing a good bedtime routine, too.
“Excitement should be low-key. Lights should be dim. Screen time should be reduced. So, the light shining in the eyes and engaging in media may be more exciting and may delay bedtime,” Dr. Krishna says.
Dr. Krishna says rewarding smaller children for sticking to the sleep schedule may serve as extra motivation. Helping your kids get their rest is great preparation for success at school.