Healthy Sleep Tips for Back-to-School
The back-to-school season is here and with it comes new routines. While the backpacks and school supplies may be ready for the first day of class, what about the kids’ sleep schedule?
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and supports success in school. Insufficient sleep can impact students’ concentration, ability to retain information and classroom performance.
Help kids start the school year well-rested by ensuring they’re getting plenty of healthy sleep each night. (Not sure how much sleep your child needs? See below for age-based recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.)
Try these 4 strategies to establish a healthy sleep routine before the school year begins
1. Gradually Adjust Sleep Schedules
Determine a set bedtime and wake-up time at least two weeks before the first day of school and begin working toward these times in 5–15-minute intervals. Once you’ve reached the ideal schedule, stick to the routine — even on the weekends! Consistency will help ensure a smoother transition back to class.
2. Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
A simple routine helps prepare the brain and body for a restful night of sleep. Storytime for younger children, reading time for older children, or a bath are all relaxing activities that can help kids wind down for the night.
3. Say No to Snacking and Caffeine
It’s hard to sleep on a full stomach, so avoid serving a big dinner too close to bedtime and keep post-dinner snacks to a minimum. Avoid caffeine 6 hours prior to bedtime — stick to water, milk or 100% juice.
4. Keep Electronics Out
Video games, televisions, cell phones and tablets can all cause sleep deprivation. Help minimize these distractions and temptations by keeping electronics out of the bedroom.
Sweet dreams and cheers to a great school year!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following amount of sleep for children and adolescents:
- Preschoolers (ages 3–5): 10–13 hours (including naps)
- School age children (ages 6–12): 9–12 hours
- Teenagers (ages 13–18): 8–10 hours