As we approach the end of summer, it’s time to start checking items off your child’s back to school checklist. But, along with new school supplies, your checklist should include important steps to help kids get back on track with a healthy sleep routine.
Doctors at Ascension Via Christi offer the following tips to help manage your child’s sleep schedule:
- Think gradually. Gradually adjust sleep and wake schedules 10 days to two weeks before the start of school. This will help with setting their biological clocks to the new schedule.
- Bedroom = Electronic-free zone. Electronics should be kept out of the bedroom. This included video games, televisions, computers, and cell phones. Use of electronics before bed can lead to poor sleep. Eliminate exposure to electronic media within an hour before bed.
- Keep a regular bedtime – even on weekends. This makes sure kids and teens are getting enough sleep.
- Think about the environment. Create a sleep environment that is cool, quiet, dimly lit and comfortable.
- Have a relaxation routine. Your kids should have a relaxing bedtime routine that is age appropriate. This helps kids wind down. The routine should be the same every night so they associate all steps with sleep.
“Screen exposure before bed causes your child to have less restful sleep so even if they are in bed for the correct time, they are still tired the next day,” says pediatrician Amy Seery, MD, with Ascension Via Christi. “This is also true for adults and often explains why we reach for that extra coffee.”