In just a few short weeks, kids across the country will be mourning the end of the summer and the start of another school year. After months of sleeping in and relaxing, that early wake up call on the first day back will be a rude awakening – but does it have to be? Here are some tips to help your kids seamlessly transition back into their school sleep schedules at the end of the summer:
1. Start gradually
A couple of weeks before the first day of school, start gradually having your children wake up earlier each day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends making these changes in 15-minute intervals and adjusting bedtime accordingly to make sure your child is getting adequate sleep.
2. Create a routine
With the freedom of summer, the fun and spontaneity of the day can easily throw off bedtime. Before school starts, create a relaxing routine that gets your child ready for bed at a reasonable hour. FamilyShare suggests giving your child tasks like reading or writing to do before they hit they hay.
3. Keep the same schedule year-round
Beyond these tips, the best way to make sure your child doesn't struggle to get up in time for school is to enforce the same sleep routine all year long. Beyond that, maintaining a consistent schedule can promote better health for your child.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently released its first official consensus on sleep needs for children and teenagers, indicating that children should get the recommended hours for their age group on a regular basis.
"Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood," Dr. Shalini Paruthi, Pediatric Consensus Panel moderator, said in the press release. "It is especially important as children reach adolescence to continue to ensure that teens are able to get sufficient sleep."
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